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Also called the Leaf Mantis or Hooded Mantis, these Mantids are really cool. They have made a fine art out of mimicry looking so much like the surrounding greenery of the jungle in which they are found, that it is almost impossible to see them if they don’t move. This one was nearly 3" (7.5 cm) long, dark green dorsally, lighter green ventrally including the 4 rear legs. The front legs were yellowish orange with a black spot on each of its femurs.
Found on the edge of the clearing behind our house in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador (700 masl).
The first picture was an unexpected end to a spotting. I assumed I would eventually lose sight of it, but after following/chasing this Mantis around for a while, it evidently decided it had had enough. As I got just a little too close, it suddenly popped out from the tree trunk and assumed its most fearsome pose. You can almost see the biceps bulging as it strikes the traditional strong-man pose. It even had its mouth open, as if to say, “You want some of this?” In fear and trembling I took my pictures and sneaked away 😊
Spotted on Apr 14, 2020
Submitted on Apr 7, 2021
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