Preying Mantis from Cyprus

Subject: Hammer head insect
Location: Cyprus
October 10, 2016 2:08 am
Can you please identify this bug?
Signature: Pete Hussey

Preying Mantis
Preying Mantis

Dear Pete,
The simple answer to your question is that this is a Mantis, and she is a female.  We thought it might be easy to identify her to the species level, but we have our doubts.  She is NOT
Sphodromantis viridis, a species pictured on the Biodiversity of Cyprus site, because she lacks the characteristic white spot on her wings.  Three species of Mantis are pictured on the Cyprus Insects and Reptiles site, but the only species that looks close is the Mediterranean Mantis,  Iris oratoria.  Your individual has mottled wings, unlike the images of the Mediterranean Mantis we located on BugGuide (because it was introduced to North America) or on ZipCodeZoo.  A very similar looking Mantis is pictured on the Yorkshire Field Herping and Wildlife Photography site in a 2014 Cyprus posting, but it is identified only as “Mantis Spp.”

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