Hymenopus coronatus

Physical characteristics: Adults are white with pink patches on the head, forewings, and legs. Females average 2 inches (5 centimeters) in length, while males are only half the size at 1 inch (2.5 centimeters). The eyes are cone-shaped and stick out beyond the outline of the head. Their legs have leaflike projections.

Geographic range: This mantid is found in Southeast Asia.

Habitat: This species lives on land in undisturbed and second-growth rainforests.

Diet: They eat any small insect or spider they can catch.

Orchid mantids eat any small insect or spider they can catch. (©Ray Coleman/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: This species is typically found on or near flowers, waiting to ambush prey. During courtship, males tap their antennae against the forewings of the females, probably as a way to show they are ready to mate.

The long, narrow egg cases are 2 inches (5 centimeters) long and are attached to the stems and branches of plants and shrubs. The lar vae have red bodies and black heads when they first hatch and mimic, or look like, ants because ants defend themselves with bites, stings, or bad-tasting chemicals and are usually not eaten by predators.

Orchid mantids and people: This is a popular species among insect hobbyists, people who enjoy the challenge of raising interesting and unusual insects.

Conservation status: This species is not endangered or threatened.

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