9 Female Orchid Praying Mantis
Like many insect species, the male and female orchid praying mantises of Southeast Asia have evolved to look very different from each other. The male is small and brown while the female mimics the visual appearance of the orchid flowers around which they live. This camouflage allows the females to attract insects as prey and allows the males to avoid detection while they look for a mate.
The result of this species’ evolution is a truly extraordinary female specimen. Female orchid mantises have perfected the art of masquerade. Their limbs are shaped like petals and sport spectacular pink and yellow hues. With bodies that look like fully formed orchids, they are easily mistaken for the real thing and can actually be better at attracting insects than the flowers they mimic. This is despite the fact that orchid mantis females do not mimic any particular species of orchid, but rather a generic combination of orchid-like features.