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New Zealand's only native mantis. It is green with some yellow on the underside and in the wing. The main distinguishing feature is a bluish dot of colour on its inner foreleg. This dot is missing in the other species that occurs here. Hatchlings are miniature versions of the adults and grow through a series of moults to about 40 mm over a year. Males tend to be slimmer through the abdomen and slightly smaller.
Reasonably widespread throughout their range, in the north of New Zealand they have been supplanted by the introduced Springbok Mantis (Miomantis caffra) that became introduced in the 1970's. This is a classic case of an introduced species becoming dominant over a native species and threatening them. Sadly it happens all to often in New Zealand and elsewhere.
Some fun facts. The scientific name Mantodea comes from the Greek word for Prophet. The NZ mantis is an affective predator and is known to capture up to 25 flies a day so locally is often known as the 'Preying Mantis'.
Spotted on Mar 27, 2015
Submitted on Mar 28, 2015
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