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Orchid Female Mantis Hymenopus Coronatus 9 Of 10
Photograph - Photograph
This beautiful mantis is found in the Rain Forests of Malaysia, Indonesia and Sumatra. They need to be in a humid warm environment to survive. At first instar hatchlings orchid mantises resemble ants with black bodies and red legs. After shedding their skin the first time they emerge with a white body, then a few more sheds they get their final color which can be pink or white with what looks like a green necklace around the lower part of the neck area. They can range from 2" to 21/2" in height. At this adult stage it is a master of camouflage, looking very much like the flower of an orchid, with it's legs resembling flower petals. When hungry they will grab any insect that comes close such as flies, moths, butterflies and sometimes bites of a banana. A very beautiful unique mantis but also deadly! I photographed this female orchid mantis in my photo studio using some artificial flowers which I purchased at a local arts and craft store! I put the flowers in a vase then then placed the mantis on them letting her walk around at her leisure, after about 10 minutes she sat down and just starred at me. I immediately went to my camera (RZ medium format camera, 140 macro lens, and a #2 extension tube) and clicked the shutter 20 times, getting similar but slightly different expressions. She was about 3" from the lens and depth of field was very shallow approximately 1/2' to 3/4". I had to move the vase with the flower in a way so I could sharply focus on her eyes, face and very sharp needle like claws while the rest of her body went slightly out of focus! This image was 9 of 10 that came out good that I was happy with! It took me 3 months raising it from a hatchling to adult size with the help of my stepson Orville before I was able to to take these photographs! I had a great time photographing her and I hope you have a great time viewing them!
September 11th, 2012
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