The hot insect season never fails to surprise me.
I was amazed to witness how tolerant some of the Lantern Bugs were towards fellow regulars on the citrus fruit tree trunk, while they were trying to take a break.
Praying Mantises are abundant here but this one is exceptionally small (about 3-4cm) and unusually alien looking.
Its tiny size and well camouflaged colour make it almost invisible in the grass.
In fact it is a Jeweled Flower Mantis (or Asian Flower Mantis), one of the smallest mantis species in South and Southeast Asia. The adult is usually in brown or green colour with funny looking eyes. This one is a juvenile and the undeveloped wings are just visible above its middle legs.
This one is a little bit older and the brown wings are beginning to emerge.
Like other mantis species, the Jeweled Flower Mantis feed on insects but only the ones attracted to flower nectar or pollen. I guess that is how it earned its name. Its unusual appearance and interesting behaviour make it a very popular pet.
I also find the appearance of Assassin Bugs interesting too. From behind, it is no different from other true bugs.
With a closer look you can see its scary long needle like “mouth” which is lethal to prey when it injects poisonous saliva inside them. Apparently the saliva can dissolve the inside organs of its prey which are then sucked out. Actually some of them can even attack humans and suck blood from the wound.
Unlike most of the bugs, the Assassin Bug can remain hidden and still for a long time while waiting for its victims, and then strike a sudden lethal blow. Its name tells all.
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