Identify this Indian mantis
Love the site. I’m in Madurai, South India, and mantids are very very common here. It’s quite commonplace to see 3-4 different species in the course of a day. However, i have never seen a mantis such as this. This mantis was spotted late morning, hanging from a clothesline. It was about 3 inches in length, not including the antennae. As you can see, the body was mottled pink and green. However, I have never seen a mantis with such feathered antennae, which should be quite obvious from the pictures. Could you identify this mantis?
Rohan

Hi Rohan,
Though we can’t give you a species name on your mantid, we are pleased to post the images. Perhaps someone will write in with an identification. Some tropical mantids are bright pink and mimic orchids and other flowers.

Update (04/27/2006)
I have a feeling that the other unknown indian mantis, the pinkish one, is a color variant of a member of the Family Empusidae, and the genus Empusa. However, without detailed pictures of the nymphs, I’m not sure I can tell the species. My guess would be species pennata, but I’m not sure if they are found in India. It’s a male and its unusual coloration is probably a product of its environment (I’ve found even domestic praying mantis species have some active color mimicry capability after each molt) humidity and temperature also play a role. Incredible pictures, I hope this helped somewhat. Regards,
Ian

Update (06/15/2006)
The Indian mantis (the pink, feather-antennae one) is almost undoubtedly a color variant of a mantis that can be found at http://www.museumkiev.org/photo/empusa.jpg (the label is in Russian, I think), Empusa fasciata. Hope this helped,
Dylan Juedeman

Update (06/16/2006):
Hi the pink mottled Indian mantis is Empusa fasciata. They look very similar to Empusa pennata but live on the opposite side of the Meditteranean Sea.
john morfitt UK

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