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Species Phyllovates chlorophaea - Texas Unicorn Mantis

Texas Unicorn Mantis - Phyllovates chlorophaea Unicorn eating wasp-moth, close-up - Phyllovates chlorophaea - female Unicorn nymph - Phyllovates chlorophaea Mantid - Phyllovates chlorophaea Phyllovates female - Phyllovates chlorophaea - female Mexican Unicorn Mantis - Phyllovates chlorophaea Texas Unicorn Mantis - Phyllovates chlorophaea Pseudovates chlorophaea - Texas Unicorn Mantis? - Phyllovates chlorophaea
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Mantodea (Mantids)
Family Mantidae
Subfamily Vatinae
Genus Phyllovates
Species chlorophaea (Texas Unicorn Mantis)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pseudovates chlorophaea
Explanation of Names
Phyllovates chlorophaea (Blanchard 1836)

Head bears a pair of flattened dorsal projections between the eyes and antennae. Green wings, often with a few small brown spots; rest of body various shades of brown.
c TX to C. America(1)
Gardens and forests
Seems to prefer flying insects much smaller than itself. In the wild frequently eats small butterflies and moths. In captivity will take flies, crickets, and occasionally roaches. Ambush predator, less prone to pursue prey than many other mantid species.
Life Cycle
Nymphs frequently curl their abdomen up over their back, in a posture reminiscent of a scorpion's tail, and also often hang upside-down from stems or branches in mimicry of a dead leaf.
This species is becoming popular among captive breeding enthusiasts, not only for its distinctive appearance and large size, but also because its preference for smaller prey means that cannibalism is much rarer than in most other mantid species.
Captives have been reported using a defensive posture in which they raise the forelimbs, spread the wings, and expose the brightly marked abdomen.
Often comes to lights in south Texas.
Print References
Neck R.R. (1980) Invertebrates of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas with special reference to the southmost, Cameron County, area.
Orofino, Ippolito & Lombardo. 2006. Trans. Am. Ent. Soc. 132: 205-222.
Works Cited
1.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.