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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Iridopterygidae

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dictyoptera > Mantodea (mantids)

This is a small family of fragile-looking mantids found mainly on tree trunks or shrubs. Some measure as little as 8mm as in the genus Bolbe. In the genus Ciulfina they are cryptically coloured and conceal themselves by laying flat against tree trunks, casting no shadows. They are also long legged and run extremely quickly around the tree trunk when disturbed. The ootheca of this family is small and elongate, being mainly attached to tree trunks.     

Page by Dawn Larsen