17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Spiny Flower Mantis in the Republic of the Congo

Sure, you've heard of the Praying Mantis. But have you met its cousin, the Spiny Flower Mantis? Nymphs like the one in the picture will molt approximately every two weeks; the time between molts gradually increases as the mantids get closer to adulthood. During molting, a mantis hangs upside down, sometimes shaking, and eventually wiggles out of its skin. It takes seven molts for a female to reach maturity, and six molts for males.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2019
Photo Location: Republic of the Congo, Congo
Camera: NIKON D3200
Copyright: © Alice Paghera