Beautiful and deadly pink praying mantis looks like an orchid (video)

There’s a praying mantis that looks like a beautiful pink orchid. Who knew?

I normally post the fun non-political videos at night, but I’m in the middle of writing a rather-detailed scoop – it’s going to take me a few hours – so you get the freaky mantis in the meantime.

It really is amazing that insects can evolve to look like plants – whether it’s entirely random, by natural selection, or whether you think God got involved.

pink-praying-mantis-large-orchid

Either way, it’s difficult to believe that something like this is just entirely random. Even if you subscribe to natural selection, which I tend to, it’s hard to believe that a mantis could randomly just come about looking like this. Where did the first orchid-looking mantis even come from? It just happened randomly? Hmm.

When you see videos like this, you can understand why some people become religious about the amazing complexity of life, even if I’m still somewhat agnostic the whole religion thing.

Enjoy.  (Well, enjoy until the part where the pretty flour eats a fly.)


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Thom Allen

    Got it. I’ll check it out, thanks.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    That, I figured — late fall, pickings have been kind of lean, easy calories.

    Still — shades of “Willard,” except with fluffy tails.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Most species of squirrel are rather opportunistic feeders. They may prefer specific things, like various nuts, seeds, or grasses, when they are in season, but they won’t pass up an easy meal if they come by it.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    “Even if you subscribe to natural selection, which I tend to, it’s hard to believe that a mantis could randomly just come about looking like this. Where did the first orchid-looking mantis even come from? It just happened randomly?”

    The random part of natural selection happens on the cellular level, during meiosis. After that, the organism (or potential organism) has to satisfy a series of environmental requirements which are not at all random. If it makes it through that, and flourishes, that pushes the population in a certain direction which will probably be reinforced in subsequent generations. Remember, evolution happens in populations, not individuals.

    And consider that orchids have been around for well over a hundred million years, probably closer to two hundred million. The mantis has had a while to adapt — after all, how many mantis generations fit into a hundred million years?. (By the way, there are a number of orchid flowers that have evolved to look like insects: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/print-version/?p=/nature-online/life/plants-fungi/bee-orchids/index.html )

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    The part with the fly didn’t bother me as much as seeing a squirrel in the back yard stripping scraps of meat and gristle off a chicken bone a few weeks ago.

    I can handle carnivorous bugs. Carnivorous squirrels, not so much.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    Well, OK, I’ll bite: where does a Venus’ flytrap keep its eyes?

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Hymenopus coronatus, from Malaysia and Indonesia. There are actually about a dozen different species of mantis that mimic various flowers and other plants, from Africa and southeastern Asia, though these guys are by far the most extravagant.

  • Tatts

    The first thing that crossed my mind was: Those are the gayest looking insects ever! ;-)

    Beautiful, until the part with the fly.

  • pappyvet

    It’s amazing what God can do. Isn’t She wonderful !

  • Narvid Borvalis

    Fantastic. Anybody know the scientific name? Location? John? Some info would be nice…

  • Anonymous

    The recent photos of flies that have ants “painted” on their wings amazed me.

  • maria

    And will a Venus Frytrap ignore the mantis because he doesn’t look like a bug? Youth wants to know!

  • Zorba

    Very, very cool. Isn’t evolution wonderful?
    “Nothing in Biology Makes sense Except in the Light of Evolution.”
    Theodosius Dobzhansky.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution

  • Drew2u

    needstobeapokemon.tumblr.com Look after the Lighting Round posts for greater details.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    The theories of evolution have all along accounted for certain developed traits to ultimately turn out being colossal failures. Notably in cases of specialization. They also account for devolution; that sometimes a more modern species has lost the capabilities of its earlier ancestors, thus rendering it less effective on the whole.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Or a poet, who can capture her allure.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “The whole section of biology dedicated to mimicry and predation is quite fascinating.” I have often thought that about Republicans.

  • Thom Allen

    What’s the URL?

  • Drew2u

    I have a Pokemon tumblr where I discuss aspects of biological evolution and social ecology. Some of my favorites are the peacock spider and the happy-face spider.
    Plants that smell like carrion scare me.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Flour will pass spell check as it’s a homophone. That’s one of the conundrums of the English language and the archaic spelling system we hold on to.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Aggressive mimicry has turned up in evolution in countless different variations. This is just a particularly stunning variety. There are far more complex iterations, like predatory birds mimicking the songs of their prey, or species of spiders emitting pheromone-analogs of moth species. The whole second of biology dedicated to mimicry and predation is quite fascinating.

    These guys are actually sold as pets for like 30-50 bucks each. :)

  • Monoceros Forth

    I love being proud of not understanding things too–no, I don’t actually.

  • Monoceros Forth

    This is definitely a case where even a slight resemblance can be expected to confer at least some selective advantage, so the selective pressure toward detailed mimicry must be very great.

  • albert14151

    “the pretty flour eats a fly”? How ’bout “flower”? Dontcha just hate SpellCheck?

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    She’s total sass!

  • Monoceros Forth

    I would rather have both the explanations and the fairy tales, to be honest. As great as is my respect for the man who can tell me everything about the selenography of the Moon, I respect just as much the man who can sing me a tale of her.

  • nicho

    Some may become religious, but it’s better to become scientific, because science can explain it instead of creating fairy tales about it. “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.”

  • pricknick

    No, I still can’t understand why some would become religious, unless it’s the religion of admiring nature as I do.

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