Morphological adaptations to an unusual defensive strategy in the mantid Orthoderella ornata (Insecta: Mantidae)



The behaviour of Orthoderella ornata Giglio Tos, 1897, a cryptically coloured mantid, is described with reference to some morphological adaptations that conceal the typical insect outline.

The modification of the typical morphology of the head in mantids is analysed with special mention of the internal structure, the tentorium, and by comparison with the disposition of two other species with a different defensive strategy.

The hypothesis that O. ornata has short legs in correlation with its resting position is supported by a morphometric comparison with five other species of mantids which show different behaviour and positions in their cryptic strategy.