The bush tiger mantis photos were taken in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda, a 620 square mile protected mountain rain forest park in Africa.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the recent Lancetfish photos showed a rare cannibalistic deep sea monster that had washed up on shore while still alive. But one guy took an elephant selfie when the mysterious pachyderm was found frolicking along on a Florida beach unattended.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Gavin Svenson led a team of biology students to investigate the park and collect specimens of the bush tiger mantis, which has been named the Dystacta tigrifrutex in a new study published in Zookeys. The reason this fascinating new species earned the name bush tiger mantis is because the female hunts prey exclusively from the ground while the male flies through the air:
“The new species is amazing because the fairly small female prowls through the underbrush searching for prey while the male flies and appears to live higher in the vegetation.”
In addition to adult specimens, the team even managed to document the egg case and the instar nymph stage:
Bush Tiger Mantis Photos: Female Of The New Species Hunts On The Ground While The Male Flies
The team is certain they have found a new variant of the mantis because they compared their find with specimens in both the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, Germany, and the U.S. National Museum insect collection. None of them fit the bill. Because of this professor Svenson believes that the Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda may need extra protection because of the wealth of scientific knowledge it contains:
“The new praying mantis species was found in the high altitude rain forest region of southwestern Rwanda and probably only lives within Nyungwe National Park, which adds significant justification for protecting the park to ensure species like this can continue to exist.”
Besides the bush tiger mantis, the research team also found 12 species that were new to Rwanda and they plan on returning this summer to collect more mantises in hopes that they may determine how far the creature ranges.