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  • The-roles-of-colour-and-shape-in-pollinator-deception-in-the-orchid-mantis-Hymenopus-coronatus.

    May 01, 2018 1 min read



     Excerpt: The orchid mantis, Hymenopus coronatus (Insecta: Mantodea), is renown
    for its visual resemblance to a flower blossom. It has been hypothesised that
    the 'flower like' orchid mantis is an aggressive mimic that attracts pollinators
    as prey items. This is the first study into the morphology of the orchid
    mantis that explores this widely discussed hypothesis. We quantified color
    and shape patterns of orchid mantises that are likely to present visual cues
    to pollinators. We used spectrometry to measure their overall coloration
    and geometric morphometric techniques to quantify the shape of their
    'petal-like' mid- and hind-legs. This was done for both juvenile and adult
    female orchid mantises. To investigate how this stimulus may be perceived
    by a pollinating insect we investigated within-individual color variation
    using physiological models of hymenopteran vision. Mantises were found
    to reflect primarily UV- absorbing white. Visual models indicated that within
    individuals, different body parts did not contrast highly in color. Femoral
    lobes showed patterns of bilateral symmetry with juveniles expressing similar
    patterns of shape variation to adults. The results are used to provide specific
    and testable hypotheses as to how the morphology of the orchid mantis
    may constitute a signal directed towards pollinating insects.

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