Strike a pose! Giant mantis puts on striking defence display for stunned photographer
A giant mantis has been caught ‘posing’ for pictures, by a stunned photographer who almost trod on it just moments earlier.
The striking Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis put on an impressive display for shocked Thomas Marent, who was out walking in Tanzania.
Thomas, 48, almost squashed the colourful creature but thankfully spotted the mantis just in time and was rewarded with this series of stunning snaps.
Despite being one of the largest mantis species – up to 14cm long – they are often hard to spot due to their fairly dull exterior and their excellent camouflage skills.
However, on the inside of its arms, the Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis has bright red, white, blue and black markings.
When resting these colours can’t be seen but when it feels threatened, it will raise its body and point its arms upwards, showing the bright colours.
Thomas, from Baden in Switzerland, said: “I wasn’t looking for this particular species of Mantis.
“I was traveling in Tanzania and visiting the Gombe Stream National Park shooting chimpanzees. But I do love insects and I always watch for them.
“I knew from a friend of my who is a Mantis expert that the Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis is like the Holy Grail for the Mantis lovers.
“I was walking in the wet savannah and almost stepped on it before I found it. It was raising its colourful arms as a defence posture.
“The pictures were taken from less than 30cm away and the Mantis was ‘posing’ for almost half an hour.
“Not many people have found this species in the wild so its pretty rare.”