Mantis-Mimic Moth

Mantis-Mimic Moth

Common Name: Mantis-Mimic Moth

Order Name: Lepidoptera

Family Name: Noctuidae

This Indonesian moth is probably mimicking the raptorial legs of a praying mantis. Mimicry of a predatory insect is achieved by modifying its leg and body hairs and adjusting its behavior and body stance to a very un-mothlike state. The hairs on the front two legs create the illusion of thickened muscular legs and they are held out in a position similar to those on a Praying Mantis. The illusion is strengthened by the moth holding its abdomen erect above its wings. Other moths have adopted this line of defense as seen with the day-flying moths that effectively mimic wasps.