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Devil's Flower Mantis
Devil's Flower Mantis
General information
Universe Real Life
Classification Idolomantis diabolica
Species type Mantid
Homeworld Earth
Intelligence Non-Sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological information
Reproduction Sexual; lays eggs
Average length Females: 5" (13 cm)
Males: 4" (10 cm)
Locomotion Movement using four of their six legs
Feeding behavior Carnivore
Lineage information
Cultural information
Alignment Neutral
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Ecdysozoa
Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Hexapoda
Class Insecta
Subclass Pterygota
Infraclass Neoptera
Superorder Dictyoptera
Order Mantodea
Family Empusidae
Subfamily Blepharodinae
Genus Idolomantis
Species I. diabolica
Other information
Status Least Concern
Creator Somarinoa

The Devil's Flower Mantis, also known as the Giant Devil's Flower Mantis, is one of the largest species of praying mantis, and is believed to be the largest to mimic flowers.


Females grow to be about 13 centimetres (about 5 inches) in length and males to about 10 centimetres (about 4 inches). They are native to Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Its threat display is magnificently colored, with red, white, blue, purple and black.


The anatomical structure of Idolomantis diabolica is almost identical to species of the mantodea order, however, the morphology of each species varies according to the native habitat.


The head of the Devil's Flower Mantis contains three vital components: compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles. The compound eyes, composed of thousands of individual photoreceptor cells, facilitate sight. The photoreceptor units, for instance, allow the insect to capture a perceptual span of 180 degrees, allowing Idolomantis diabolica to identify prey and predators without making itself vulnerable. The antennae, a pair of long and thin bristles, serve as the insect's sensory perception. Projecting outwards, the antennae can detect chemical cues, motion, and odours. The male antennae are more developed than the females; they have feather-like antennae. This further development allows them to track down females by analysing the pheromones they release. These pheromones notify the males that the females are ready to reproduce. The mandibles, commonly referred to as the "jaws" of an insect, act as a food processor. For example, the mandibles can be used to tear, puncture, or grind food.


The thorax constitutes a large portion of the insect's body. It is composed of three sections: the prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax. Each section contains one pair of legs, however, the wings are found only on the mesothoracic and metathoracic segments.


Reproductive organs, respiratory organs, and other organ systems occupy the abdomen region of the insect. Sclerites reside above the abdomen region to prevent puncture or fracture to the internal organs.


Defensive behavior[]

In the event of being confronted by a predator, Idolomantis diabolica initiates a deimatic display in an attempt "to scare off or momentarily distract a predator". Its front legs, specifically the femur, are raised to expose the conspicuous patterns depicted on the bottom of the thorax and abdomen. Similarly, the wings display a combination of vibrant colors. Observational analysis of Idolomantis diabolica in captive settings revealed an additional tactic of shifting its wings left to right to startle and confuse predators.

Predatory behavior[]

In the presence of prey, Idolomantis diabolica will remain motionless, imitating a flower.The objective is to seduce the insect into its striking zone. In this zone, Idolomantis diabolica utilizes the tibia portion of its leg to grasp and maintain a strong grip on the prey. The mandibles are then "wielded as formidable weapons" to decapitate and devour the prey. The dietary preference of Idolomantis diabolica is exclusive to airborne insects, specifically "flies, moths, butterflies and beetles".



Before reproducing, mature females display dimorphic features in an attempt to attract males. Females lower the "tip of their abdomen and raising the wings slightly to expose more of the uppermost side of the abdomen, thus releasing pheromone to attract a mate". However, sexual cannibalism is prominent among pairs of Idolomantis diabolica that remain in captivity. Due to its precautions nature, intrusive environments conjure up aggressive behavior. For example, a female, in the process of copulating, adopts predatory instincts which often conclude with the female devouring the head of the male.


Females deposit eggs in an ootheca constructed to withstand approximately ten to fifty nymphs. The incubation period varies according to temperature and humidity, however, observational analysis reveals an average duration of fifty days is required for hatching. Upon entering the instar stage, the developmental period of an insect, the nymphs feed on small insects such as houseflies and fruit flies. In addition, "males will develop into adults after about 7 moultings, while females develop after 8 moltings". The average lifespan of Idolomantis diabolica varies according to the habitat, however, the average lifespan is twelve months.