Hey! I’m Kim (15 yrs) from Australia, NSW Wagga Wagga, and I was looking through bug identification sites, and yours is way the best! My Mum knows I’m nuts about insects and she found me this praying mantis in our outside cat’s basket on the pillow. I have never seen anything like this one before, maybe it’s using this as a disguise to be like an ant or a spider? Maybe it eats fleas? It also does this very weird yet interesting thing with it’s fore-legs, it does this circular motion with both arms a little apart doing it at the same time. Here’s a couple of photos of him. Sorry if they are not very clear, my digital camera does not have a macro lense, and she (or he, though I think it’s a she) won’t stop moving! It is 1.3 centimetres long, and the abdomen is approximetly 4mm at it’s largest point. Hope you can identify it! Thanks!
Thanks for the compliment. Because your letter was so nice, we have been obsessed with properly identifying your Boxer Bark Mantid in the genus Paraoxypilus. The Geocities site states: ” The male and female of Boxer Bark Mantid species Paraoxypilus are markedly dissimilar to each other. The male is winged, slender and a little longer in body length. They have the cryptic colours and hard to be seen on bark. They colour patterns may be different for individual. … The Boxer Bark Mantids that we found are wingless, so they should be females (male is winged and with slender body, see below). They have long legs and holding their front pair of legs in ‘boxing’ display as most other praying mantids. Like some other praying mantids, they also have colour patches on their inner forelegs. The Boxer Bark Mantids have the orange ones. It is believed this is a territorial display to space out individuals of the same species. They can be found hunting on the rough bark gum tree trunk. They are usually not moving, but runs very fast when disturbed.” Since your specimen is wingless and not slender, we believe she is female as you presumed. Your description of the foreleg movements also supports the “boxing” description.