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3+ Praying Mantis That Looks like A Flower

The term insects bring out the image of spooky arthropods that look creepy and sometimes frightening. But did you know about the Praying Mantis that looks like a flower?

Generally, some Praying Mantis like Orchid Mantis, Dead Leaf Mantis, Malaysian Orchid Mantis, Thistle Mantis, and Ghost Mantis are insects that have evolved to mimic a flower or its part and camouflage with the plant. 

Besides, these adaptations of the insect are their way to survive in the wild. Let’s dive into the article to learn how different Mantis blend into its surrounding. 

Why Do Praying Mantis Look Like a Flower?

Praying Mantis do not naturally look like flowers, but some species have evolved specific adaptations to mimic flowers for their survival and hunting strategies. 

The primary reason for the Praying Mantis adaptation is camouflage or a trick to blend into its surrounding. Especially to disguise both prey and predators from detecting them. This phenomenon of mimicking an object’s color, texture, or shape in its environment is called Cryptic Mimicry. 

Mimicking a flower allows the Mantis to attract the insects like bees, butterflies, and other pollinators towards them.

Further, these prey insect mistake the Mantis for a real flower and fall into the trap. 

Also, resembling a twig, leaf, or flower helps the Mantis remain inconspicuous from predators like birds and reptiles. 

Moreover, the camouflage tactic is the approach of Mantis for an increased chance of survival. 

3+ Praying Mantis That Looks Like a Flower 

Nature never fails to amaze us with its exciting creation.

After the bird-like Orchids and a flower that looks like cats, it’s time for Praying Mantis (insects) that looks like a flower. 

1. Flower Mantis or Orchid Mantis 

Hymenopus coronatus, commonly known as Flower Mantis or Orchid Mantis, is a type of Pryaimg Manyis uniquely resembling an Orchid flower

The petal-like body extension of these Mantis with soft pink to white color makes it a perfect example of among the Pryaing plants that look like a flower.

However, the color palette of the insect may vary to camouflage itself, which is triggered by the surrounding. 

An Orchid Mantis on the hand of a person.
Unlike many other insects, Orchid Mantis looks white and beautiful, like a flower.

Meanwhile, the outspread white legs of an inch to 1.5-inch-long insect imitate the soft-velvety petal of the Orchid.

This helps the insect naturally attract and confuse its prey, like butterflies and beetles. 

2. Dead Leaf Mantis

As the name suggests, Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys desiccata) has evolved to imitate dried leaves, helping them blend seamlessly with its surrounding. 

While not specifically a Praying Mantis that looks like a flower but like a leaf, the Dead Leaf Mantis displays the shade of brown, tan, or green to match the decaying leaves. 

Native to Southeast Asia, these Mantis are broader and flatter compared to the others on the list.

A Dead Leaf Mantis photo.
The photo will help you visualize the real picture of the insect.

The Female Dead Leaf Mantis are 60 to 70 mm long, while the male is about 10 mm shorter than the female. 

Further, due to its enhanced camouflaging nature, Dead Leaf Mantis’s wings might confuse you for the leaf veins.

3. Thistle Mantis

If you have ever witnessed a spiky Creeping Thistle or a Globe Thistle, that’s exactly how Thistle Mantis looks. And successfully hides among them.

Blepharopsis mendica, aka Thistle Mantis, is a 50-60 mm insect having spiky and elongated limbs just like the thorny foliage of the Thistle flower. 

A thistle mantis on a finger.
Some may confuse the Thistle Mantis with a grasshopper. 

Further, the body of these Mantis is slender and flattened, helping them put out of their predator’s sight.

Also, these insects will likely tolerate the neem oil in case you have to use it for other surrounding pests. 

4. Ghost Mantis

Belonging to the forest of Kenya, Tanzania, and parts of Madagascar, the brown tan of Ghost Mantis is the reason for their amalgamation with its surrounding. 

When at rest, Ghost Mantis (Phyllocrania paradox) adopt a praying posture by holding their front legs together. This is why it belongs on the list of Praying Mantis that looks like a stick or flower.
A ghost mantis that looks like a flower on a plant leaf
You’ll find them, especially under a plant’s leaf.

Moreover, the 40-50 mm long insect has a remarkable capability to mimic the color and patterns of the environment. Thus, the name Ghost Mantis.

However, these Mantis lacks elaborate extensions like that of the Flower Mantis.

Editor’s Note 

Be Protected!

Praying Mantis that looks like a flower is uncommon in normal surroundings.

But if you happen to identify one, make sure not to touch them bare-handed to avoid any allergic reaction.

Mantis are less likely to bite but use protective gloves before you touch them.