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Species of the Week: It’s not a twig, but an Archimantis Latistyla

Posted by on July 19, 2013

Sara Dawkins is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. 

There are a variety of mantid subspecies currently residing on the planet Earth. While some may have a frog-like look to them, others blend into their background increasing their efficiency for hunting. Archimantis latistyla is one such mantis that is plentiful in the Australian continent.

1. Hidden – One of the most predominant features of the Archimantis latistyla, or Stick Mantis, is the ability it has to blend into the natural flora surrounding it by looking like a stick. Its natural brown colour hides it from predators and provides excellent camouflage when the insect is hunting for other insects as prey. These insects can leap up to one meter from a stationary location in order to evade potential predators or engage prey.

2. Large Sized – During the adult phase of their lifespan, the Stick Mantis has been known to attack a variety of animals such as small birds and even humans if they feel threatened. They can become considerably large depending on the actual subspecies of the brown mantid. Like many other mantids, the Archimantis latistyla can be a cannibal if hard pressed or establishing dominance of a hunting locale.

3. Flight – Although female Stick Mantids have short wings, they cannot fly. The smaller male of the species, however, can fly with ease. This is partially due to the fact that the male has a fully developed set of wings while the larger female is unable to support her own size in order to take flight.

4. Ghosts in the Weeds – Another variant of the Archimantis latistyla is the Stick Mantis Ghost. This brown mantid will expand its arms and legs outward in order to look much larger than it actually is. This subspecies is non-aggressive, but its defensive trait keeps it safe from a variety of predators.

5. Eating Habits – Archimantis latistyla, like most other mantids, don’t have a particular diet. They will eat every insect that they can grapple with the “pinchers” located at the end of their forearms. Spines along the inside of these pinchers hold prey fast while they feast.

Many people have employed the use of mantids in order to reduce insect populations of gardens and crops. As the appetites can be someone voracious as seen in the A. monstrosa variant, they can provide excellent crowd control of invading insects such as grasshoppers. It’s a case of nature versus nature as the Archimantis latistyla can protect the plant-life from predators.

2 Responses to Species of the Week: It’s not a twig, but an Archimantis Latistyla

  1. Phil Richardson

    Sara this is a great summary. Stick insects are a great biomimetic model for business. They provide a counterintuitive approach to ‘grabbing’ the customer. By being invisible it turns the whole brand and customer experience model on its head.