Gongylus gongylodes


Physical characteristics: Males measure 2.8 to 3.1 inches (7 to 8 centimeters) in length, while females are 3.1 to 3.5 inches (8 to 9 centimeters). They vary from light to dark brown in color. The head has a cone-shaped horn on top. The first section of the thorax is extremely thin and expanded into a diamond shape just before the head. All of the legs have leafy structures. The antennae of the females are threadlike, while those of the males appear feathery.

Geographic range: This mantid is found in southern India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and eastern Java.

Habitat: This species lives on land in undisturbed and second-growth rainforests.

The habitat of the wandering violin mantid is threatened with destruction due to human overpopulation. (Illustration by Gillian Harris. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: This species eats any insect that it can catch.

Behavior and reproduction: Their color and the leaflike extensions on their legs camouflage them against backgrounds of leaf litter and shrubbery.

Their egg cases contain from fifty to one hundred eggs. The egg cases are deposited on woody stems and hatch after several weeks.

Wandering violin mantids and people: This species does not have any effect on people or their activities.

Conservation status: This species is not listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). However, its habitat is threatened with destruction due to human overpopulation. ■

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