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Common Name: Amorphoscelis elegans
Scientific name: Amorphoscelis elegans

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Mantodea
Family: Amorphoscelididae

Species: A. Elegans



This mantis is part of the order mantodea. The reason why mantises are called praying mantises is because of their prayer like stance. This mantis differs from the other ones because it is not green like most of the others. It is an insect like any other mantis and is from Ghana, Guinea, Togo, and Bioko.

This insect can be as small as 1.2 cm to 15 cm big. It can blend in very well to dead leaves and trees because of their brown and yellow body. They are sometimes mistaken with grasshoppers and crickets and other stick insects. This praying mantis has long antennas, wings, and eyes on the sides of its head. The insect has 6 legs and is pretty quick which helps when catching food.

The habitat is widely distributed through tropical, sub tropical, and warm places. Mantises are mostly found in North and South America. They are also found in some parts of Africa, Australia, and Asia. Their habitat influences their color. This really helps their camouflage from the view of other insects. This will also help them with protecting themselves from other enemies like owls, frogs, monkeys, and bats. Praying mantises would rather live in a hotter climate with a mild winter and they live in gardens and forest with green vegetation. There are about 2,200 species in 15 families and only one Spanish species is listed as lower risk/near threatened which means there is still a lot and not much are extinct. There is an urban legend that states if you kill a mantis you can get fined because of how important they are to gardens.

Other insects fear preying mantises because they are really predatory. They only eat meat that they have caught by themselves. They mostly eat insects but bigger mantises can eat small scorpions, lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, and even rodents. Larger animals like birds and owls will eat the mantis. One interesting fact is when after mating the female will rip the males head off and devours him to provide nutrients for the baby.

All in this entire fascinating insect is different and unique from all the others. The species will not go extinct for a while. These creatures may not be big and cool but they are definitely interesting.

Author: Dennis G.
Published: 03/13

Sources: mantis 
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