family Mantidae Burmeister, 1838
subfamily Vatinae Saussure, 1893
genus Heterochaeta Westwood, 1843
Found in Africa and Western middle east
This species is colorful and has great wingspan. That makes the threat post impressive. Although this species gets to 6 inches in
length, the species is quite skittish, and easily startled. Sometimes the adult specimen will run amok in the net cage when scared, so
it is always good to leave some plants so they can hide.
The mantis will show threat pose in any position, whether it is upside down, on the ground, even sideway on the net cage.
This species was easy to pair up even with their skittish nature. Once pair up, the mantis did not appear to be wary of any intruder,
making photographing the mating pair easy. Close up during mating was not a problem at all.
It was also easy to do a close up right after mating. I could get close enough to photograph the spermaphore on female's last segment.
Face-off with this species while taking photograph of the threat pose was always interesting event. The mantis will continue to stand
up against me throughout the entire photographing session, while following every single move I made, only to lower the wings when I
showed any sign of retreating.
Ootheca of this species took a long time to hatch, more than 5 weeks. I was glad to see the new generation hatched out fine. I have
preserved all the dead specimen and hope one day it can be used for species identification.