Sphodromantis viridis - Maree

When I got into my studio yesterday morning, I found this large Green Praying Mantis sitting on my art table. I don't know if she was cold, but she was very sluggish and not keen to move at all. So quickly out with the sketch-book. She obligingly stayed still for a full half-an-hour, even allowing me to get in some colour. As she started moving, I deposited her on the window sill in the sunshine and watched as she seemed to warm up. She stayed in my studio for most of the morning until I took her outside roundabouts lunch time - I thought that would give her enough time to find a protected spot before nightfall. 

I identified her in my Insect book and she is Sphodromantis viridis - S. viridis is native to West Africa south of the Sahara desert. Did you know it is kept worldwide as a pet? I found some websites giving full instructions on how to take care of your Mantid pet! Its common names include African mantis, giant African mantis, and bush mantis. 

"Mantodea (or mantises) is an order of insects that contains approximately 2,200 species in 15 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. Historically, the term mantid was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other 14 recently established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.), and the term "mantises" should be used when referring to the entire order."




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