Immature Spiny Flower Mantis from Kenya

Subject: Rare mantis in Kenya?
Location: Sengera Kenya
January 12, 2013 4:29 pm
Hi, I imagine you get lots of common things on here. Maybe this is a common one – or perhaps it is more rare. I have spent some time looking to identify this bug years ago with some colleagues who are big animal fans, but we never identified it just because there are too many. I bumped into your site again by chance and it reminded me of this mystery.
In 2007 I made my first trip to a remote place in Kenya called Sengera which is the heart of the Kisii highlands (Kisii being the nearest big town 16 miles away) as a volunteer in a church charity that provided help for local people. I spotted it because the sun was reflecting off his back like the flash of a diamond ring. I went over and to my amazement it was a tiny mantis. This stunning apparent Pink-purple mantis with his diamond back was camouflaged as a flower and were it not for his ”jewel” I’d never have spotted him. Unfortunately because he was so tiny many of my shots of him were blurred and a close up of the diamond bit on his back (that almost looked like water but I’m sure it wasn’t) After the pictures we put him back and I saw him again the next day. For years we had looked for another one and never found one. All the local people hadn’t seen one before either. Beautiful creature and so tiny.
I also include in another email another much larger mantis discovered in our kitchen that was more common which you might find easier to identify.
Signature: Ben Fiddes

Immature Spiny Flower Mantis

Dear Ben,
This pretty little Mantis is quite nicely represented in our archives.  It is an immature Spiny Flower Mantis in the genus
Pseudocreobotra.  We still haven’t opened your second email which might be a photo of the adult Spiny Flower Mantis whose appearance is significantly changed after the growth of the wings.

Immature Spiny Flower Mantis

Thanks so  much. I can’t wait to share this with my friends. You guys are legends!!

From my friends who have already replied from my email with the find:  “…Absolutely fascinating. What amazing creatures. And what a website, thanks very much indeed…”
I should have come ages ago to your site. Kenya doesn’t have many bugs though. I have been all over the country and the climate varies massively so it should be ideal for a huge variety. I think the fact that it much of it is at a high altitude might explain why. The local people don’t like them and just kill them – probably are pests. Once some locals came and dumped this creature on my desk while I was working (the locusty-grasshopping thing). The other creature brown with big pincer jaws was quite formidable. But he didn’t bite me when I let him crawl onto me.
Want me to submit these to your site too?
CHeers Ben

Hi Ben,
Please submit the new photos each using its own submission form.  Thanks.

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