So, may I present to you the Wandering Violin Mantis or Gongylus gonglodes. This awesome looking insect is our newest addition to the Bug House. We have eight of these funky little creatures and they’re one of the most bizarre looking out of all the mantids.
These insects are part of the order Mantodea and are characterized by their slender limbs and stocky upper body. As suggested by the name, this mantis looks somewhat like a violin with leaf like appendages protruding from the legs to aid camouflage and a leaf like head. They’re from Southern India and Sri Lanka and come in a variety of different shades of brown.
The wandering violin mantis is more of a ‘sit and wait’ species rather than a hunter but that’s not to say that they’re picky. These mantids are confident, ravenous feeders and will snatch a variety of flies and moths from the air, if the dare to fly close enough. Most mantids are solitary and have to be kept individually but these are unusually social. Given plenty of space they can be housed together in small groups of 8-10 and pose no threat to each other.
So, keep your eyes peeled for them in the Bug House! I’ll be putting them out on display in the next few weeks in a mixed exhibit with the hermit crabs and fresh water shrimps. Also keep an eye on the blog for my next posts on how I set up their new vivarium.