Tropical Shield Mantis

Tropical Shield Mantis

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tropical Shield Mantis (Choeradodis rhomboidea). The insect's appearance provides camouflage as it lies in wait for prey, and also protects it from predators. Imitation of plants is known as phytomimesis. The mantis is a daytime hunter, with an indiscriminate and voracious appetite for insects, lizards, frogs and even small birds. The creature is well known for its cannibalism; the female often feeds on her partner during and after mating. Photographed in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

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