Iris oratoria female (12)
|Iris oratoria (Linne, 1758)|
Common names: Mediterranean mantis
Iris oratoria is a widespread mantis in Crete. The species is distinctive in having two large startling violet-brown eyespots on its hind wings which are revealed when its wings are unfolded. Females have wings shorter than the abdomen, very similar to some Stagmomantis species, but easily distinguished if the hindwings are visible.
Two novel I. oratoria survival strategies may have contributed to the expansion of this species beyond its original range, and its success in areas formerly occupied by other mantids such as Stagmomantis carolina. Firstly, this species is capable of parthenogenic reproduction when males are scarce. Secondly, additional I. oratoria nymphs may emerge from their oothecae in the second season after the egg case is produced, i.e., when their siblings are already grown and are producing their own offspring.