Alien in Khao Yai - Ceratomantis

Another fascinating find from Khao Yai National Park is Ceratomantis saussurii (Wood-Mason, 1876) commonly refered to as the Horned Mantis, Spiny Mantis and the Unicorn Mantis. This was only my second ever sighting of this species of mantis, the previous one had been of a juvenile nymph in neighbouring Thap Lan National Park. Looking at the resultant photographs it reminds me of H.R. Giger's creation of the Alien for the movie of the same name and I wonder if some of the influence for the head of the space creature came from such a mantid?

Ceratomantis saussurii Horned mantis or spiny mantis.

Ceratomantis saussurii (Wood-Mason, 1876) Horned mantis AKA spiny mantis in Khao Yai National Park.


It was fascinating to watch, it moved its body very little but its antannae were constantly vibrating, it was almost nonchalont to my presence. So much so that I was able to set up the camera to take a video of it preening and cleaning its legs with its mouth parts. It would preen a while and then stare at me for a short while before regaining its perceived nonchalonce. Its one of those strange experiences when you wonder - what is it thinking, what does it think I am, does it care, am I going mad? Khao Yai National Park is host to a fascinating array of such cryptic creatures - rarely seen by its many visitors.



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"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

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