Praying Flower Mantis: the Master of Mimicry

Nature never fails to amaze us with its ingenious and crazy creations. Mimicry stands out as a remarkable survival strategy. Let us introduce you to the flower mantis – a master of disguise, expertly mimicking flowering plants. Join us to uncover its fascinating facts, from its habitat, behavior, and role in your garden.

Flower Mantis
Scientific name: Creobroter gemmatus
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Mantodea

Flower mantis overview

Flower praying mantises are one of the most stunning and interesting types of praying mantises. These species belong to the family Hymenopodidae. They’re known for their aggressive mimicry, resembling flowers to ambush prey. That’s why people call them praying mantis which looks like a flower or flower mantis.

Spiny flower praying mantis
P. wahlbergii is one of a popular flower praying mantis type

Compared to other different types of praying mantis, these insects have a more colorful and vivid look. They can be yellow, red, green, blue, pink, or orange. Except for this feature, there are not many differences between flower praying mantis and other species. They all have large triangular heads, big compound eyes, strong mandibles, and forearms for grasping.

These beautiful praying mantises are quite popular as pets because of their stunning looks and fascinating behavior. You can name some of them like the pink orchid mantis, spiny flower mantis, or giant devil’s flower mantis.

The marvel of mimicry

The flower praying mantis is a camouflage expert, blending seamlessly into various surroundings from orchids to dead leaves and grass. Its body is adorned with intricate patterns and colors resembling flowers or foliage. Its delicate appendages resemble petals and its slender body looks like stems. These features help the flower mantis conceal itself among plants, becoming almost indistinguishable from real flowers or leaves.

A orchid mantis is blending in its environment
White orchid praying mantis mimics the flower amazingly

By mimicking its environment flawlessly, it can easily ambush the prey like crickets, butterflies, bees, and fruit flies, while hiding from potential predators.

The colorful praying mantis is a prime example of insect mimicry. However, you can still see this strategy in other mantis species such as the dead-leaf mantis or stick mantis.

Flower mantis habitat

These praying mantis species mainly live in Africa and Asia, inhabiting various environments such as tropical rainforests, grasslands, and lush gardens. They are often found resting on leaves, branches, or flowers within these habitats.


This insect mimicking flower is diurnal. During the day, it remains motionless, often blending into its surroundings so well that it’s almost impossible to spot. When the prey comes into its reach, the flower mantis strikes with lightning speed, capturing its prey with its powerful forelegs. After feeding, the mantis may groom itself meticulously, ensuring that its camouflage remains effective for future hunts.

Life cycle

The life cycle of a flower praying mantis is similar to the life cycle of the praying mantis. It encompasses several stages, starting with mating. During this phase, adult mantises engage in courtship rituals, which can involve visual displays, movements, or pheromone release to attract a mate. Once mating is successful, the female flower mantis lays her eggs in a protective case called an ootheca, often attaching it to a plant or other suitable surface.

Spiny Flower Mantis nymph
The nymph stage of spiny flower species

After a period of incubation, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months depending on species and environmental conditions, nymphs emerge from the ootheca. As nymphs, they undergo a series of molts, shedding their exoskeletons. During each molt, they gradually get more adult-like features. The number of molts and instars varies among species but typically ranges from five to eight.

After completing the final molt, the nymphs emerge as fully developed adult flower mantises. It takes them 1 – 2 weeks to be ready to reproduce. Then, they start a new life cycle again. The lifespan of a flower mantis varies depending on species and environmental factors but typically ranges from several months to a year for most individuals. Throughout their life cycle, flower mantises play a vital role in their ecosystems as both predators and prey, contributing to the balance of their respective habitats.


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We are passionate animal enthusiasts with over a decade of experience studying animals. With a degree in zoology and conservation biology, we've contributed to various research and conservation projects. We're excited to bring you engaging content that highlights the wonders of the animal kingdom. We aim to inspire others to appreciate and protect wildlife through informative content grounded in expertise and passion. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of animals and discover the incredible stories they have to tell.

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