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Giant African mantis feeding on a wasp

Sphodromantis viridis


Despite its scientific name (viridis is Latin for green) this insect ranges in color from bright green to dull brown. Females can reach 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in length. Due to the sexual dimorphism typical of mantises, the male is much smaller. Females may also be distinguished from males as they have six segmented abdomens compared to an eight segmented abdomens of the males. As adults, both sexes have a distinctive white spot on their wings. They have a yellowish color on their inner foreleg distinguishable from the black eyespot and white dots of the European mantis Mantis religiosa with whom it shares some range.


A variety of habitats, but seems to prefer sunny areas of green growth dominated by shrubbery or herbaceus plants.

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PatriciaPi 8 years ago

Thank you so much ForestDragon for your correction! you're right!

ForestDragon 8 years ago

This is a spectacular spotting! However, I am pretty sure this is not Mantis religiosa. The yellow coloration on the face and margin of the wings is not consistent. I also noticed there is a white spot on the wings and Mantis religiosa doesn't have any spots on the wings.

This mantis very closely resembles Sphodromantis viridis (African Mantis):

Wikipedia states that there is an introduced population of these in Spain:

See what you think!

PatriciaPi 8 years ago

thank you suzmonk!

suzmonk 8 years ago

Yikes ... great video!

Spotted by

Comunitat Valenciana, Spain

Spotted on Oct 15, 2013
Submitted on Oct 15, 2013

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