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Mediterranean Mantis is a widespread species of praying mantis native to Europe. This species is capable of parthenogenic reproduction when males are scarce, but generally it lays the eggs in groups surrounded by a foam of protein which may then harden into a tough casing for protection. Iris oratoria is pale when young but matures to green, reaching 6.5 cm long. The species may be distinguished from Mantis religiosa and other mantids by the red-orange spot on the ventral side on the fourth (second to last) abdominal segment; also, its cerci are shorter than those of M. religiosa. The species is distinctive in having two large startling violet-brown eyespots on its hind wings which are revealed when its wings are unfolded. The sexual cannibalism occurs in roughly one quarter of all intersexual encounters of I. oratoria.
Spotted under a fallen branch in a mixed forest of pine and Holm oak trees.
Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/60 sec.; f/32; ISO Speed Rating: 200. Focal Length: 90.0 mm. Flash fired