Brunner’s Mantis Facts
- The fascinating Brunner’s Mantis or Brunneria borealis forms a most unusual and also very rare variety of mantis.
- It also remains quite well known for its rather thin body, which causes it to closely resemble a small stick or branch.
- However, entomologists did not recognize this amazing invertebrate as a separate species of its own until 1986.
- Further, this amazing creature also ranks as the only known insect that reproduces entirely without males.
Brunner’s Mantis Physical Description
Firstly, its highly elongated body serves as the most easily recognizable physical characteristic of the Brunner’s Mantis, at least visually.
While wild adults generally attain an average length of 3.5 in (8.9 cm), those grown in captivity often reach a length of 5 in (12.7 cm).
However, despite its undeniably great size, the wings of the adults typically remain too short to allow it to fly.
Also, the coloring usually consists of light green, although small streaks of light brown occasionally appear. Along with its body shape, this also provides excellent natural camouflage.
Species: B. borealis
Brunner’s Mantis Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the astonishing Brunner’s Mantis only appears natively in the southern United States, in North America. Within that range, it also appears in Texas, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
Its preferred habitat typically consists of tall grasses and small trees. Here, its natural camouflage provides it with the best protection from its own predators, most commonly birds.
The remarkable Brunner’s Mantis also holds a unique distinction. It reproduces entirely asexually, through parthenogenesis. No males of the species exist. This mantis also represents the only known insect on earth of which this appears true.
Like all mantises, it remains a pure carnivore. Its diet consists of a rather wide variety of local insects, including those as relatively large as grasshoppers. Also like other mantises, it hunts primarily as an ambush predator.