The Discovery Centre welcomes our newest insect species this week – a Giant Mantid, Hierodula majuscula.
Giant Mantids are inhabitants of rainforests in far north Queensland. This individual on display is a female, most easily distinguished from males by her larger size.
Mantids are well camouflaged among vegetation, allowing them to hide from both predators and their own prey. They commonly prey on other insects but are also known to eat small frogs.
There are roughly 200 species of mantid in Australia, making them one of the smaller groups of insects. In contrast, there are more than 1500 species of bees and over 4300 species of leaf beetles in Australia.
Praying mantids are often confused with stick insects (Order Phasmatodea) but their similarity is superficial. Mantids are strictly carnivorous, with large eyes and specialised front legs for capturing prey. Conversely, stick insects are herbivores with small eyes and simple front legs.
Visit the Discovery Centre on Level 4 of the museum
Can you see me? Visit the Discovery Centre today and see if you can spot our new Giant Mantid hiding among the leaves in her new enclosure. While you’re there explore over 1300 objects and chat to our knowledgeable experts.