|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Family:||Praying Mantis (Mantidae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Burying Mantis (Sphodropoda tristis)|
|This Photo:||🔍Male, released🔎|
Thank you Matthew Connors for confirming the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Here we have a big old fella. These Mandids grow to 40mm ... hmm, sorry this great, great, great grandpa is 50mm.
They are brown & white .... hmmm sorry, he's so old he's litterally turned grey.
Oh and they have a white patch on their wings .... hmmm, sorry, that's faded long ago.
The shot of him in the Melaleuca lanceolata is when we released him. Seconds after that shot he flew to the top of the bush to find dinner.
How's that red-topped abdomen! And the orange lipstick. Notice the black mouth parts. Normally you'd think that's shadow in a photo, but by using lots of light, we are able to see it's black pigment. The wings aren't supposed to be clear like that, they've just worn off any pigment that was originally there
Why Burying? We suspect because the female has a large scoop/shovel like ovipositor she uses to bury her eggs in the ground.