Praying Mantids
Black Bark Mantid 
Brown Bark Mantid
Brown-legged Bark Mantid 
Spiny Bark Mantid
Garden Praying Mantid
Black Groung Mantid
Tree-running Mantid 
False Garden Mantid
Purplewinged Mantid
Large Brown Mantid
Burying Mantid 
Other Mantids 


Large Brown Mantid - Archimantis latistyla


This page contains information and pictures about Large Brown Mantids that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. They are also know as Stick Mantids
Female, body length 120mm
Large Brown Mantid is common in Brisbane. This is the largest size mantid species we found. They were usually found when they are hunting other insects among plants. This mantids is pale brown in colour and looks like a dry leave among the grass. There are two black dots on each side of its forewings.
We sometimes saw them hunting at night beside a shop window waiting for the insects attracted by window light. Praying Mantids have very good eye-sight and a flexible neck. Most mantids bend their head and look at us when we come to have a closer look at them.


Females have short wings which cover half of her abdomen. Males are smaller in size and have full length wings. 
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We took the first picture when we were taking dragonfly pictures. The Mantid was waiting on a spot near the edge of fresh water where the dragonflies may land for a rest. We sometimes find this Large Brown Mantid in our backyard. The second picture showing the mantids about to attack a Longicorn beetle.
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Notice the blue marking on its head. Some other mantid species, such as the Garden Mantids,  have the blue markings on their front pair of legs. Blue colour may mean something in mantid, could be highly sensitive to mantid's eyes.
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Females have short wings which cover half of her abdomen. Males are smaller in size and have full length wings. 
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As most other mantid species, we saw female mantids more often than the males.
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Praying Mantids development cycle is in-complete metamorphosis. As most other mantid species, Large Brown Mantid nymphs are in two colour forms, either brown or green. Also notice the white stripe on its back, it is the characteristic of Large Brown Mantid nymphs. 
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Nymph, length 30mm 
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Pictures taken on September in Karawatha Forest.
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Nymph, body length 70mm
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Nymph, body length 90mm
Some nymphs were found in the bushes and some were found in our backyards. 
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Nymph, body length 90mm


Ootheca - mantids eggs case . Female mantid lays up to few hundred eggs in a distinctive case called ootheca. The young nymphs hatch from the ootheca. The ootheca is constructed of moist formed material produce by the mantid. This becomes a spongy ball after drying. 
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The Praying Mantid eggs are suffered from parasitise by Parasitic Wasps. The small holes (second picture above) were made by those wasps when they emerged. 

Mantids Hatching from Ootheca

On a late winter Sep 2003, we found a newly made Ootheca on a plant. There were two Parasitic Wasps (Podagrion sp.) trying to insert their eggs into the Ootheca. The two wasps are black in colour with body length about 5mm. They both had the very long ovipositor, more than three times of their body length. The two wasps flied away before we pointed our camera at them.
Anyways, we took the Ootheca  back home to see what would happen. About three weeks later, we saw many young mantids emerged from the Ootheca. They came out one by one, look like a small worm, 10mm long and pale brown in colour. They had the first moulting immediately outside the Ootheca. Then their appearance become exactly like their mother, except much smaller. In the picture you can see many empty skin cases left after their moulting. Watch more carefully you can see one young mantid just emerging and few others still struggling in the moulting process.
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There were about a hundred of young mantids emerged. Some rested on the plant and some actively ran around. We did not see any cannibalism, could be they were not too hungry yet. 
After watching them for two days, seemed no more interesting things will happen, we put them back into our backyard. 
Beside the the emerged of the young mantids, we also see a few parasitic wasps came out. They came out by making a small hole on the side of the Ootheca. They look exactly as the two wasps that we mentioned above except none of them had the long ovipositor. We might see the male wasps emerged only. As their mothers, they flied away quickly and, again, we failed to take any picture of them.

Cicada Hunting

Different cicada species sings different song. From the song we can tell the cicada species.
One hot summer Jan 2004 weekend when I was working in front of my computer on this Brisbane Insects and Spiders web site, as usual I heard many of the Floury Baker Cicadas singing outside in our backyard on the Maple tree. Suddenly I heard a new cicada song. The song had quite different patterns which I had never heard before. I thought there must be a new species of cicadas came to visit us. I immediately took my camera outside and look for it.
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What I found was not a new cicada species. Instead it was a Floury Baker Cicada attacked by the Large Brown Mantid. The cicada might try to deter the mantid by its loud noise but with no luck.
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1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 356.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p93.
3. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Published by Queensland Museum 1995, p73.
4. Grasshopper Country - the Abundant Orthopteroid Insects of Australia, D Rentz, UNSW Press, 1996 p242. 

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Last updated: May 03, 2010.