Giant Rainforest Mantis Facts!

Giant Rainforest Mantis Facts!

Giant Rainforest Mantis (Hierodula majuscula) Lync Haven, Cape Tribulation, North Queensland, AUSTRALIA. Image credit: berniedup CC BY-SA 2.0

The Giant Rainforest Mantis is one of the largest praying mantids in Australia, growing up to about 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) in length. The prayer-like postures of the praying mantids, where they fold the forelimbs give them their name. They inhabit the northern tropical areas of Australia. The giant rainforest mantis feeds on large butterflies, dragonflies and other insects.

Mantis Headless Mating

Mating (brown male, green female). Image credit: Zwentibold GNU FDL

During the mating process, often the female mantis will consume the male. But shockingly, the male will still continue the mating even after the female has eaten his head, front legs and thorax. The body of the male will provide the female with the necessary nutrients for the eggs. In captivity, it is vital to make sure that the enclosure of the mantis is spacious enough, if the conditions are cramped the female will consume the male before mating.

Mantis Reproduction

Ootheca (egg case) of praying mantis. Image credit: Hans Hillewaert cc4.0

Similar to other species of mantis, the giant rainforest mantis also lays the eggs encased in a foamy ootheca. An ootheca contains many eggs covered by protein foam, which hardens soon after it is laid. This casing protects the eggs. The ootheca is usually attached to a solid surface, like a branch. The eggs hatch within several months and the nymphs begins to feed soon after. During this young age the siblings will tolerate each other for a short time, and then they disperse. However if they meet again by chance, this will result in one nymph feeding on another.

Molting and Growth

Molted skin of praying mantis by Joi cc2.0

Mantises grow by a process called molting or ecdysis. This is when the mantises shed their outer skeleton (exoskeleton). Molting takes about 10 – 30 mins. Nymphs reach maturity once their wings have developed.

Giant rainforest mantids are featured in the following book:
25 Beastly Bugs and Insects

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about giant rainforest mantids. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Monster Bug Wars- Giant Rainforest Mantis by ScienceChannel
  2. Giant Rainforest Mantis (Hierodula majuscula) by kitkat39
  3. Giant Rainforest Mantid by minibeastwildlife
  4. Giant Rainforest Mantis vs Spiny Leaf Insect Monster Bug Wars by BugWeek


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