Some insects are well known to the general public while other insects remain obscure. Most people become familiar with insects like cockroaches, bees, flies or ants as children since these insects are commonly encountered both outdoors and indoors. The praying mantis could be considered another iconic insect in the arthropod community. There is no mistaking a praying mantises’ plant-like appearance. Of course, identifying individual species requires extensive knowledge on insects. This is especially true for mantises as their exists twenty four hundred documented mantis species in the world today. Despite this diversity, all mantises have one thing in common, and that is their camouflaged appearance. Some mantis species are so good at blending in with their surroundings that even researchers have a difficult time spotting them in the wild. One of these rarely seen mantis species is referred to as the dragon mantis. This mantis easily hides in plain site, but it is still considered one of the most elusive insect species in existence. Recently, a group of researchers spotted the dragon mantis in the Brazilian rainforest. The researchers were quick to film the mantis as many entomologists and other experts have never laid eyes on the species. This footage is being treasured as it is the first time that the dragon mantis has been captured on film.


The dragon mantis is officially known as Stenophylla cornigera, and it dwells within the dense Amazon rainforest. Stenophylla cornigera was recently reclassified into a new and rare genus. Other insects that belong to the Stenophylla genus most likely came from museum collections and were not captured in the wild. The geographic distribution of dragon mantises as well as their population numbers in the wild are not well understood. Researchers believe that the dragon mantis could reveal valuable information concerning the process of insect evolution. Unfortunately, live specimens will have to be captured for study quickly as deforestation in the Amazon may lead to this species extinction.


Do you think that the Amazon contains the highest amount of undocumented insect species when compared to other regions in the world?


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