The genus Metallyticus reviewed (Insecta: Mantodea)
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Species P. Spurca
AFRICAN TWIG MANTIS
Popa spurca, also known as the African twig mantis, is a species of mantis native to Africa. (Athopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Somalia, Tansania, Uganda... ) It takes its common name from its resemblance to twig from a woody plant and grows up to 8 centimetres long if female or 7 cm long if male.
Just like a twig that has fallen from a tree branch. Every part of this Mantis is camouflaged. They have matching bumps and growth rings and even the eyes look like wood!
From young Nymphs to Adults their colour is normally a dark brown, but this can sometimes range into a tan colour. Adult females only have wings that cover approx. half of the abdomen and they measure 65mm. Males are thinner and smaller, only measuring 50mm.
The front arms are large and have a yellow colour on the inside. The length of the arms allow them to catch prey nearly its own size, as they are very aggressive towards food.
When disturbed, immediately they adopt a camouflage display. The front arms stick straight in front and they sometimes wobble side to side. If they feel threatened, they will throw themselves to the ground and lay motionless!
They like a temperature of 25-30C (77-86F). They can be kept just above room temperature, but over the winter a heat mat/pad may be required. Don't spray them with water too often, once a week will be fine, try to keep the humidity level at 40-50%.