Mexican Unicorn Mantis from Costa Rica

Subject: Costa Rica mantis
Location: Costa Rica
December 14, 2013 1:21 pm
hi, when I went to Costa Rica I came upon this particular kind of mantis. they were large, about 6 in, and fairly common. judging by the forelimbs and posture I think it’s a type of stick mantis, but I can’t find their exact name, please help.
thank you
Signature: Andrew

Mantis from Costa Rica
Texas Unicorn Mantis from Costa Rica

Dear Andrew,
The most unusual features of your Mantis which should aid in the identification are the upturned ends of the wings and the unusual antennae.  We will attempt to determine a proper genus or species identification for you.

Mantis from Costa Rica
Texas Unicorn Mantis from Costa Rica

Update:  This male in this photo of a mating pair of Mantids on the Life in Costa Rica blog looks very much like your individual, but alas, the species is not identified.

Mantis from Costa Rica
Texas Unicorn Mantis from Costa Rica

Identification courtesy of Karl
December 17, 2013
Re: Mantis from Costa Rica – December 15, 2013
Hi Daniel and Andrew:
It looks like a Texas Unicorn Mantis, also known as the Mexican Unicorn Mantis, Phyllovates chlorophaea (family Mantidae: subfamily Vatinae: tribe Vatini). The species ranges from Texas to northern South America. There are actually two species of Phyllovates in Costa Rica, the other is P. cornuta, and Daniel’s photos don’t really provide enough information for me to definitively say it is one or the other. The August, 2012 issue of the UK Mantis Forums Newsletter has an excellent article by Gillian Higgins entitled “Species of Phyllovates in Costa Rica” (scroll down to page 8). Perhaps you can decide for yourself using her descriptions. Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  Your identifications are always so insightful.



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