Conservation & environment

Woah there people, check this out - this insect is crazy!!

08 January 2015

On leaving the house yesterday morning a flash of pink caught the eye.

A closer inspection revealed an insect so intricately coloured, so psychedelically designed, that it is nearly impossible to imagine this could have occurred naturally.

The Eyed Flower Mantid.

Fact is stranger than fiction and this creature would fit on the cover of a Jimmy Hendrix record; even Dali would have found this painting weird!!

As the name suggests this design facilitates the ambush predator to stake out flowering plants awaiting the unsuspecting pollinators that make up most of its diet.

The eye on the back of the wings is most striking of all, it`s very unusual to see an asymmetric pattern like this in the natural world - I think that is why we find this thing so difficult to believe.

The triangular head and large, compound eyes are a signature characteristic of the order mantodea - an order containing nearly two and a half thousand species.

The forelegs, above and below, have developed into a fearsome, grasping apparatus - they lash out with lightning speed, digging vicious spikes into the insects on their menu and proceeding to eat them alive (often head first!).

Alert and calculating - the little predator pays close attention to Jana's camera.

Quite the poser - but as the saying goes; "if you've got it, flaunt it" - too right.

A close up of the eye design, if we'd have showed you this picture first and asked you what it was- what would you have guessed?

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