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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Conehead Mantis, Empusa pennata

The conehead mantis (Empusa pennata) is a species of mantis that can be found in France, Central and Southern Italy, Spain, and some areas of Portugal. This species can be found in scrubs and herbs that grow year round. It is a thin and long in appearance and lightweight with large wings. This makes it a skilled flier. Unlike some mantids that use sight to locate possible mates, this species uses scent. The conehead mantis searches for living prey, capturing it using its raptorial forelegs. The type of prey caught depends upon the species of mantis and its body size. The conehead mantis uses camouflage to surprise its prey and protect itself from predators.

Image Caption: Empusa pennata climbing a tree. Credit: Messor structor/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Conehead Mantis Empusa pennata