Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Signs of Autumn

The weather has cooled a bit, weather patterns are coming from the south and the days are shortening. All signs that autumn is in the air.

Autumn is reflected in the appearance of certain insects. Giant mantids, Hierodula majuscula Tindale show up only at this time of year. They are commonly seen under the lights at p filling stations and on the roads at night. Hierodula is a large genus with many species in Asia and Malesia.
These are large mantids measuring some 8 cm in body length.
Most mantid species have distinctive colours and colour patterns on the insides of the forelegs. These patterns seem to be used in signaling amongst individuals of the same species. Many species, especially the smaller mantids, appear to be "boxing" when they do this signaling behaviour.
 In addition, the spines, their size and arrangement, are species specific and are useful in identifying species and establishing classifications.

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