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Ghost Mantis in my garden

Today was a BIG clean up day in the garden because the heat of summer ebbed a bit! I was pulling out old, woody herbs in the Patio Patch, and was startled to see this AMAZING thing!!! What was it?? Ran to get my camera and macro lens and found out it was an exotic Praying Mantis. Oh my WORD!! I have never seen anything like it before!

Take a look!

I called it the Samurai Mantis! It was so agile and would not stand still for a moment. It was difficult to get these shot, I tell you! It jumped and ran and it was difficult to spot.

[one_third]She is a beautiful specimen[/one_third]

[one_third]Well camouflaged in the thyme[/one_third]

[one_third_last]She is about 4cm in length[/one_third_last]

Now my curiosity was piqued. Onto the Internet and I found very little on these exotic Praying Mantis’. Even Wikipedia had nothing on them – where they originate from etc. All I know is that it is called: Empusa Fasciata – Devil’s Horse – Ghost Mantis.



I found out, through the photos on various websites, that this one is a Female Nymph. She looks similar to the Male Nymph, but her antennae are thinner.

[one_half]Here she looks like a Samurai, hey?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Agile and quick – great hunting skills[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Looks a bit like a sea horse[/one_half]

[one_half_last]She now turns her back on us![/one_half_last]

Well, that was the most amazing and WEIRD thing I’ve seen in my garden so far.

Does anyone know or have information on this species of Praying Mantis?

Happy Gardening xxxx

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

24 replies on “Ghost Mantis in my garden”

I found one exactly the same as yours. I was so intrigued by this beautiful creature that I’ve kept mine ever since. I can’t seem to let it free although I know it should be out in nature living freely. Where did you find yours? I live on a farm outside of Robertson, South Africa.

Hi Carolyn – it does too! I also thought so!

The research I did showed this as a specific species of mantids – one of the exotic mantids, but where is originates from there is no information – just photographs.

Wow, amazing photos! I would sure be interested to know more about it and where it came from. It must be pretty rare if there’s no info on it on the internet!

I love these images. This is such an unusual, (for here), mantis. I never even saw a photo of this type of mantis before. Thanks for posting it.

WOW I’ve never seen anything like that. Congrats on capturing so many photos of it. I’m so curious to know exactly what type of mantis it is. If you find out, please post an update!

Oh my … very strange looking. I’m not sure I would have spotted this or, even if I did, I doubt I would have recognised it to be a mantis of sorts. Well done and thanks for all the amazing photos!!

Last night I saw a praying mantis scurrying across an outside chair. It was beige! I didn’t pay too much attention because I had something else to do. But I did briefly think: it’s running so fast! Usually the others (the green ones) I see in the garden just sit still on a leaf or twig. And I did wonder why it wasn’t green. However, it certainly didn’t have the interesting markings your one has.

Amazing! We certainly don’t have those here. A mantis that wouldn’t stay still? Maybe you were making it nervous. Or maybe that’s just the way this species acts.

Thanks so much for posting this, and keep an eye out for it throughout the summer. I’d love to see what it looks like when grown up.

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