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Purplewinged Mantid - Tenodera australasiae


This page contains information and pictures about Purplewinged Mantids that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. 
Length 100mm
Purplewinged Mantids are also known as Australian Mantids. The adult Purplewinged Mantids are large in size with long and narrow body. Their wings are purple to dark brown in colour, with grass green on both edges. Their head and body are light brown with green colour eyes.
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Like all others mantids, Purplewinged Mantids have long thorax and strong spiny forelegs. They also have very mobile triangular shaped head with distinctive ocelli and large compound eyes. Their segmented antenna are medium to long in length.
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Purplewinged Mantids are not hard to found in Brisbane. They can generally be seen on tree trunks and bushes or among grasses and other plants. However, they are camouflaged to blend in with the plants and we may need some luck to spot on them.
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The mantids usually found hunting amount tall grasses. They usually hang upside down on the top of the plant and attack prey below. This make sense because drop down to attack can be a lightening fast action.  
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Notice the front parts of its eyes are green in colour. This help in camouflage when view in front. 

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Nymph. length 70mm
The above picture shows a Purplewinged Mantid nymph which is yellow-brown in colour with light green eyes. Its wings are not yet fully developed. We found it in the bush. It is hard to be noticed while it was waiting near the flower, where we saw the butterflies were visit frequently. We saw it while I was taking the picture (smaller photo) of a Wanderer butterfly.
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Nymph. length 70mm

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Nymph. length 70mm
Pictures taken on September in Karawatha Forest.

Purplewinged Mantids hatching from Ootheca

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Purplewinged Mantid Ootheca, 25mm x 15mm
Early July we found the ootheca in bushland near Alexandra Hill, Brisbane. It was on a small Acacia tree, about 1 meter above ground. It was not covered by any leaves and easily be noticed. 
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We collected and kept the ootheca at home in a jar. Those small mantids came our on end July. There were about a hundred of them running around.
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Purplewinged Mantid 1st instars on my finger, body length 6mm 
Those Purplewinged Mantid 1st instars look exactly as their parents, with a purple strip on their back along the body. 
The ootheca that we found were usually  infected by the Parasitic Wasps (Podagrion sp.) in some degree (see my other mantid page). This ootheca seems did not have this problem.  

1. Tenodera australasiae  - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Heritage.
2. Tenodera australasiae  - Australian Insect Common Names, 16 June 2005
3. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 352, 356.
4. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p93. 

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Last updated: March 05, 2008.