Dull Males; Bright, Attractive Females

False Garden Mantid

False Garden Mantid
Photo: Donald Hobern

The false garden mantid, Pseudomantis albofimbriata, (pictured) is a cryptic predator that lives by stealth. The green coloration allows males and females to blend with their surroundings. The color of males and females and the brightness of the male are comparable to the surroundings. However, the brightness of the female abdomen differs from the rest of her body and the surroundings. The brightness is detectable by male mantids, but not predators that search based on differences in color.

Barry and colleagues* found that as the female matures and becomes laden with eggs, her abdomen becomes brighter and she becomes more attractive to male mantids. Artificially painting the abdomens of females increase their attractiveness to males. The males prefer to approach females from the rear to avoid being taken as prey. The brightness of the abdomen may be an important visual cue for mate finding.

*Barry & Colleagues. Sexual signals for the colour-blind: cryptic female mantids signal quality through brightness.” Functional Ecology 2015, 29, 531–539.
doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12363

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal, communication. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dull Males; Bright, Attractive Females

  1. Pingback: Dull Males; Bright, Attractive Females – Entomo Planet

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