Phyllocrania paradoxa (Ghost Mantis)

Phyllocrania paradoxa, (ghost mantis), is a small species of mantis from Africa.

Growing to only about 4-5cm long, it comes in various brownish shades from very dark brown (almost black) to greenish gray. An individual’s colours change between moults and are also dependent on light and humidity levels. It is camouflaged so as to appear as dead, dried-up leaf material. It has an elongated head, a flattened, extended prothorax and leaf-like protrusions from its limbs. The mantis also has a fore-wing that looks like a desiccated leaf, and the “creases” in the wings are actually shadings of pigment.

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