Thursday 30 July 2015

Mediterranean mantis or Iris mantis - Iris oratoria (Linne, 1758) - Cyprus

Family: Eremiaphilidae

Iris oratoria, known by the common name Mediterranean mantis or (less frequently) iris mantis, is a widespread species of praying mantis native to Europe. It is found as an introduced species in the Middle EastWestern Asia and the United States. Iris oratoriainvaded southern California in the 1930s and seems to be spreading
The Mediterranean mantis is known for two distinctive behaviours, apart from the ambush hunting common to other mantids: cannibalism and deimatic or threat displays. The sexual cannibalism of mantids known in popular culture occurs in roughly one quarter of all in tersexual encounters of I. oratoria.
When the mantis is under attack, it sets in motion a complex series of actions which combine to form a startling deimatic display. The mantis turns to face the aggressor, rears up by arching its back, curls its abdomen upwards (dorsiflexion), raises and waves its forelimbs, raises its wings to displays the large brightly coloured eyespots on the hindwings, and stridulates by scraping the edge of its hindwings against its tegmina, the leathery front wings
Compared to Stagmomantis limbata Iris oratoria eats a lesser portion of Orthopteran insects and does not eat as much long bodied insects. S. limbata adults have longer pronota and forelegs than I. oratoria adults. This difference in body size might be an important cause of the dietary differences between the species. Furthermore, the earlier hatch date for S. limbata also might reduce the overlap in Iris oratoria and Stagmomantis limbatadiets. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photos Potamia 1/7/2006 by George Konstantinou

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