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Old Sunday 1st October 2017, 23:23   #1
Barred Wobbler
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Mantis ID, SW Spain

After years of not seeing a mantis I had two in two days in September.

The first was a large one (about 4 ", 10cm) that walked across the path near Los Barrios, Cadiz.

The second, a bit smaller (about 2.5 ", 6cm) and with a slimmer abdomen landed a few miles away from the first at Aglarrobo watchpoint, Algeciras the following morning.


Any IDs welcome.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 09:45   #2
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Anybody?
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 10:00   #3
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First seems way too big for religiosa or others mentioned here?

https://www.amentsoc.org/publication...lla-spain.html

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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 10:02   #4
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Funny how you seem able to find dead cows (and thereby vultures) which elude me but I've not had any problem seeing mantids doing so pretty much every year since I started visiting SW Spain. I'm no insect expert but I do have a copy of the new photographic guide to Mediterranean insects. This suggests that the first, on size grounds, should be Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa. I guess the second one could be a young specimen of the same species but it looks like Mediterranean Mantis Iris oratoria. That said the new guide also tells me that there are c26 mantids in the region but only covers seven species ...
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 10:52   #5
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Is religiosa so big John?

The post I linked too, mentions the other supposedly larger species at 70mm whilst the OP puts his at c100mm?

Edit. It seems they are that big with females given at 7-9cm, bigger than the males at 6-7cm

A

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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 11:31   #6
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10cm might have been an over-estimate on my part, but not by much. I was looking at it on the path and my personal guess at the time was 'about 4 inches' (ie 10cm), being roughly the width of my hand, which I've always assumed to be 4". I find that my hand is slightly less than that in fact and therefore 9cm of a large female praying mantis is a nice fit.

Thanks folks.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 14:59   #7
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The new guide says religiosa is 43-88mm which, at the top end at least, is substantially larger than other species and only approached by Sphodromantis viridis (53-75 mm) and Empusa fasciata (60-72 mm) although the latter has a different shaped head.
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