A FEW WORDS ABOUT EMPUSA PENNATA - for the Thursday is Butterfly Day and Insect Day Giveaway- Week 51

in #steemstem2 years ago

All mantids of the Empusidae family are picturesque, plant - mimicking insects, decorated with various elegant and stylish protuberances and flap - like appendages.

So I'm very glad that one of those species, the Empusa pennata, lives here in my area, the Istra peninsula in northern Adriatic. The mantis on this photograph is a young one. Is not a completely developed version of this species and lacks the functional wings. The adult Empusa pennata mantis has a pair of large wings, that in combination with the lightweight, twig - like body, gives the species a very solid aerial capabilities. Definitely a better flyer than the common European mantis, that shares the same Mediterranean habitats in which I also spend most of my free time.

They like dry and sunny areas with thorny shrubs, coastal meadows and intricate bush ... types of habitat that abound here where I live. On this photograph is another young exemplar, climbing on some dried out plant, early in the morning at the peak of summer.

(Enlargeable)

When young, they come in a cool variety of cryptic coloration  (which means camouflage) ... you already saw the olive green - pink  version on the opening photograph ... and on this enlargeable photograph is a version completely in light brown, standing on the rock near the sea. On the following photograph ...

... is a very different, vividly brown, almost red version. They usually choose the surroundings that best fit their colors ... I arranged this shot so that the mantis could be visible against the clear blue sky ... but actually ...

(Enlargeable)

... she was camouflaged among the red - brown foliage, and was very well hidden ... as you can see on this enlargeable photograph.

Here is another pale, almost completely gray version on the green asparagus plant, and it may look that this mantis has failed in its mimicry ... but ... you can always find plenty of small gray twigs and various dried out plant parts fallen from the neighboring vegetation in the intricate bush ... so once again, the Empusa pennata is well hidden from predators and in the same time ready for ambushing the prey.

Here you can see a classic ambush pose on the thorny Scolymus hispanicus plant ... and on the following photograph ...

... the completely developed, winged and adult Empusa pennata female. The males are even more slender and have interesting feather - like antennae ... but I don't have any adult male photograph currently ... I hope that I'll get at least one shot of the male this summer. What else can I tell you about this species? Well ... I'm a big Empusa pennata fan :) Look, how not to love this insect ... it looks like something out of Science Fiction or Mythology, like a strange ancient warrior or a space invader of some kind. It's a small but spectacular animal. And now ...

... with the closing shot of the same mantis that you saw on the opening picture, but photographed in a different way, without the external flash ... is time to end this little insect report from the northern Adriatic.

As always in these posts on Steemit, all the photographs are made by me.


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Beautiful creature!

:) Lovely monster

Greetings. They are beautiful photos of the mantises. In truth they are beautiful and the details of their slim structure are highlighted in the photograph. And its colors. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for commenting :) Glad you like those photographs.

That's very beautiful! It looks like a female from the Alien 2 movie
We do not have such individuals, ours are different ...

True, very Alien looking. :) Every area has something special, that's the beauty of this planet. Nowhere you can find all the interesting things in one place. Some great stuff is here ... some there ... some in the cold, some in the warm

That's the advantage of Steemit, on other platforms, such diverse, and informative posts, unfortunately are absent (((

WoW!!! Beautifull :D

Fascinating creature. Reminds me of Extatosoma Tiaratum that I kept when I was a kid :)

Btw congrats on turning 70 (rep), you have really taken this blockchain by storm :)

Thanks :) Extatosoma tiaratum looks spectacular, cool insect pet.

Aha! This just looks like alien from andromeda’s satellites!

True :) Definitely a visitor from outer space.

Nice pix, thanks

Glad you like the post :) thanks

Incredible species, camouflage and photography @borjan! They must have a high survival rate. I am now a big Empusa pennata fan too. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful creature! : )