Trying to identify this praying mantis for a short film. It's found on the wild cosmos flower. It's found when the flower is in bloom at this time of year (February) in Harare, Zimbabwe.

praying mantis


1 Answer 1


This appears to be a species of Sub-Saharan flower mantis in the genus Pseudocreobotra.

Specifically, it resembles the spiny flower mantis Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi.

enter image description here

© 2013-2018 carlarush

The species gets its name from the spiny structures on its abdomen. According to Wikipedia, the color is variable:

being typically greenish, but it can equally be yellowish, pinkish or reddish

According to here, you can determine the sex of your specimen by counting the "abdominal appendages" (i.e., spikes):

females have just 5 abdominal-appendages on the underside, however males have 6

enter image description here

© 2004 Steffi Schuttauf

This might also be P. ocellata, which would be able to be distinguished from P. wahlbergi based on its smaller adult size [source].

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's fantastic, thank you so much for the identification. I will be sure to send you the short clip when completed. Many thanks from Zimbabwe $\endgroup$
    – WildZimbo
    Feb 27, 2018 at 8:25
  • $\begingroup$ No problem @WildZimbo. Don't forget to click the checkmark to indicate the answer as "accepted" if you're satisfied. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2018 at 19:12

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