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  • Pseudocreobotra ocellata spiny flower praying mantis

    Pseudocreobotra ocellata, known as the African flower mantis or (with other species) as the spiny flower mantis is a Flower Mantis (1.5 inches or 38 millimetres) native to Africa, ranging from Angola and South Africa in the south to Uganda in the east and Senegal in the west. It was described by the French naturalist Palisot de Beauvois in 1805.

    The adult has bold disruptive coloration in cream and green, providing effective camouflage against flowers and in damp leafy places. The male reaches 25 mm long, the female 32 mm. There are spiny projections under the abdomen, 6 in the male, 5 in the female. The wings of the male are longer and wider than the abdomen, while the female's wings are narrower than the abdomen and can only briefly sustain flight.

    The wings of P. ocellata, like those of Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii, are marked with a large brightly coloured eyespot which is used in deimatic display to startle predators. The adults are aggressive mimics of flowers, waiting until prey approaches to grasp it with their foreleg.

    I refer to this mantis as the "Q" mantis.
    It has wing markings that resemble the letter Q.
    Similar to the P. wahlberghii ocellata is a beautiful flower mantis and a wonderful species to have.
    They are easy to care for and if well fed can be kept communally ultimately breeding and laying ooths.


    1.5 inches or 38 millimetres) native to southern and eastern Africa.

    The adult has spiny structures on the underside of its abdomen, giving it its name. It is variable in colour, being typically greenish, but it can equally be yellowish, pinkish or reddish. It has a striking spiral "9" mark on its forewings providing a conspicuous eyespot in black, green and cream surrounded by a green patch. The hind wings are orange on the inner part and transparent on the outer part. The species is common in captivity and is easy to rear. The female lays egg cases almost three times its size.
    Behaviour and ecology

    P. wahlbergi has a deimatic display in which it spreads its forewings, making itself appear larger and prominently displaying its eyespots to startle would-be predators. While at rest it is well camouflaged, and is a sufficiently good aggressive mimic of a flower that prey insects can attempt to pollinate it, at which moment the mantis seizes and eats them. The mantis is able to kill prey several times larger than itself

    Scientific name: Pseudocreobotra ocelleta 
    German Name: African Flower Mantis
    Distribution: Eastern South Africa
    Final size: males approximately 4 cm, females about 5 cm
    Temperature: Day 25 - 30 ° C, night room temperature
    Relative humidity: Tags 50 - 60%, at night to 70 - 80%
    Recommended minimum size terrariums WxDxH: 20 x 20 x 30 cm
    Aggressiveness towards conspecifics: Medium
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Number molts to the adult stage: females about 8 (adult in L9), males about 7 (adult in L8)
    Reaching maturity after molting Adult: females about 3 weeks, males about 2 weeks
    Development time in ootheca: ca. 4 weeks
    Hatching rate per ooth: up to 50 pieces

    L1 / L2: Small fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster
    L3: Large fruit fly Drosophila hydei
    L4: Large fruit fly Drosophila blue-bottle flies 
    L5 / L6: Large fruit flies Blues bottle flies
    L7 to adult: Blue bottle flies

    The African Flower Mantis is colored usually white-green. Occasionally goes the white but pink or yellow over, depending on how it is kept moist and what surface it sits. Thus it is able in nature, to match the color of the flowers 

    This  Mantis will "Threat display" wings with large eyespots to deter attackers, or if frightened. its of course harmless and so interesting to witness