Feature Journal

The Majestic Dead Leaf Mantis

23 August 2013

The dead leaf mantis as its name implies, mimics dead leaves and remains well hidden when perched on dead leaf litter. It has a distinctive large shield on its back and the entire body appears to have the texture of a dead leaf. The adult dead leaf mantis typically strikes a majestic pose and is a joy to photograph.

    Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_3073
  1. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    The dead leaf mantis that Victor found in the leaf litter.

  2. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_3077
  3. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    View from below reveals intricate textures on the mantis body that mimics a dead leaf

  4. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_3092
  5. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    Striking a majestic pose

  6. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_3094
  7. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    Clearer view of the “shield” at its back

  8. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_3120
  9. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    I started to play around with lighting as the mantis had a lovely silhouette

  10. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_3122
  11. Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    The thin shield allowed light to pass through

  12. Stick Insect under Ultraviolet (Phasmatodea) - DSC_3064
  13. Stick Insect (Phasmatodea)

    Another interesting discovery that had us squatting at the same spot for almost an hour! This stick insect fluoresces under ultraviolet light! Thanks to Melvyn for pointing it out.

  14. Stick Insect under Ultraviolet (Phasmatodea) - DSC_3058
  15. Stick Insect (Phasmatodea)

    Close up to see the details of the stick insect, with composition thrown out of the window ūüėõ

  16. Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiidae) - DSC_2837
  17. Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiidae)

    Found a tiny speck of a spider hiding under a leaf, possibly a sheetweb spider

  18. Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiidae) - DSC_2847
  19. Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiidae)

    Dorsal view

  20. Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiidae) - DSC_2851
  21. Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiidae)

    Protrusion at the end of the abdomen suggests that it could be Neriene sp.

  22. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_2856
  23. Orb Web Spider (Gea sp.)

    Male Gea.

  24. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_2862
  25. Orb Web Spider (Gea sp.)

    Dorsal view

  26. Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_2866
  27. Lynx Spider (Oxyopes sp.)

    One of the most commonly seen spider families in Singapore, the Lynx Spider !

  28. Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_2869
  29. Lynx Spider (Oxyopes sp.)

    It seems to have caught dinner!

  30. Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_2871
  31. Lynx Spider (Oxyopes sp.)

    This is a male, with lovely enlarged palps

  32. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_2879
  33. Orb Web Spider (Neoscona sp.)

    Another large female orb weaver spider..

  34. Jumping Spider (Phintella sp.) - DSC_2890
  35. Jumping Spider (Phintella sp.)

    Very brightly coloured but tiny Jumping Spider

  36. Earwig (Dermaptera) - DSC_2894
  37. Earwig (Dermaptera)

    Found an Earwig on the leaves, quite a vibrant tone too!

  38. Leafhopper (Cicadellidae) - DSC_2901
  39. Leafhopper (Cicadellidae)

    Say hi to the Leafhopper !

  40. Leafhopper (Cicadellidae) - DSC_2906
  41. Leafhopper (Cicadellidae)

    Wanted to capture the spines on the legs of the Leafhopper but they were blocked

  42. Cone-Headed Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_2907
  43. Cone-Headed Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Classic peekaboo of the Cone-Headed Katydid

  44. Cone-Headed Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_2910
  45. Cone-Headed Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    So shy~~

  46. Jumping Spider (Phintella sp.) - DSC_2912
  47. Jumping Spider (Phintella sp.)

    Melvyn found another Phintella sp.

  48. Mirror Comb-Footed Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_2914
  49. Mirror Comb-Footed Spider (Thwaitesia sp.)

    Mirror Comb-Footed Spider again! Read more about this spider in an earlier blog post.

  50. Leaf-Rolling Weevil (Attelabidae) - DSC_2926
  51. Leaf-Rolling Weevil (Attelabidae)

    Permanent resident of this area, the Leaf-Rolling Weevil

  52. Praying Mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_2928
  53. Praying Mantis (Mantodea)

    Cute little Praying Mantis hiding under a leaf

  54. Common Garden Spider (Parawixia dehaani) - DSC_2934
  55. Common Garden Spider (Parawixia dehaani)

    Common Garden Spider , sports a different pattern from the usual one, could be a different morph?

  56. Orb Web Spider (Gea sp.) - DSC_2938
  57. Orb Web Spider (Gea sp.)

    Orb Web Spider dangling on its web

  58. Orb Web Spider (Gea sp.) - DSC_2943
  59. Orb Web Spider (Gea sp.)

    Side view, closest I could get without disturbing it

  60. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_2945
  61. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Saw this interestingly coloured Katydid

  62. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) - DSC_2949
  63. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae)

    There were many Wolf Spiders , and I saw 2 of them carrying egg sacs

  64. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) - DSC_2951
  65. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae)

    Did my usual yoga stunt to go to the spider’s eye level

  66. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) - DSC_2955
  67. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae)

    Hallo there!!

  68. Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis) - DSC_2960
  69. Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis)

    We also saw a beautiful Wide-Jawed Viciria tending to her eggs

  70. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs? (Halyomorpha halys?) - DSC_2966
  71. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs? (Halyomorpha halys?)

    A fresh batch of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs were also gathering under a leaf

  72. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs? (Halyomorpha halys?) - DSC_2972
  73. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs? (Halyomorpha halys?)

    Check out the eggs, they remind me of Eve from the movie Wall-E

  74. Big-Jawed Spider (Tetragnathidae) - DSC_2975
  75. Big-Jawed Spider (Tetragnathidae)

    Big-Jawed Spider , hard to do a weird arch to reach this

  76. Fungus Weevil (Anthribidae) - DSC_2981
  77. Fungus Weevil (Anthribidae)

    Fungus Weevil , thanks to Melvyn for finding this! Unfortunately I couldn’t position myself to get a parallel shot before it flew off.

  78. Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda sp.) - DSC_2984
  79. Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda sp.)

    A common Huntsman Spider from the leaf litter

  80. Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda sp.) - DSC_2987
  81. Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda sp.)

    Customary passport photo

  82. Weevil (Curculionidae) - DSC_3004
  83. Weevil (Curculionidae)

    Another Weevil for the night!

  84. Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila sp.) - DSC_3010
  85. Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila sp.)

    I had my Raynox on the floor, so I took a record shot of this Golden Orb Weaver . Would normally have given this a miss!

  86. Monkey Hopper - DSC_3012
  87. Monkey Hopper

    Cute little Monkey Hopper

  88. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3021
  89. Comb-Footed Spider (Meotipa sp.)

    Comb-Footed Spider , usually found flattening their bodies under leaves

  90. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3026
  91. Comb-Footed Spider (Meotipa sp.)

    Oops.. I woke it up

  92. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3030
  93. Comb-Footed Spider (Meotipa sp.)

    Much clearer view of the legs against a black background

  94. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3033
  95. Comb-Footed Spider (Meotipa sp.)

    Closer look at the eyes

  96. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3039
  97. Comb-Footed Spider (Meotipa sp.)

    Dorsal view for the record

  98. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3043
  99. Comb-Footed Spider (Janula sp.)

    Another tiny Comb-Footed Spider , possibly Janula sp.

  100. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_3049
  101. Comb-Footed Spider (Janula sp.)

    It’s a boy!

  102. DSC_3054
  103. Comb-footed spider (Episinus sp.)

    Chris found this interesting pose of a Theridiid feasting on an… ant?? and with a tiny midge hanging by watching the mayhem.

  104. Winged Ant with mite - DSC_3144
  105. Winged Ant (Formicidae) with mite

    A Winged Ant seemed to be troubled by the little mite

  106. Cricket (Gryllidae) - DSC_3146
  107. Cricket (Gryllidae)

    One of the common Crickets that we usually skip, it was munching on the fruits earlier

  108. Crane Fly (Tipulidae) - DSC_3151
  109. Crane Fly (Tipulidae)

    Small little Crane Fly

  110. Crane Fly (Tipulidae) - DSC_3153
  111. Crane Fly (Tipulidae)

    It did not move much and allowed me to go up close!!

  112. Orb Web Spider (Araneus metalis?) - DSC_3161
  113. Orb Web Spider (Araneus metalis)

    We were on our way out and found this Orb Web Spider

  114. Orb Web Spider (Araneus metalis?) - DSC_3165
  115. Orb Web Spider (Araneus metalis?)

    Doing some acrobatics and not letting me shoot

  116. Sac Spider (Clubionidae) - DSC_3170
  117. Sac Spider (Clubionidae)

    Sac Spider

  118. Weevil (Curculionidae) - DSC_3188
  119. Weevil (Curculionidae)

    Melvyn found another Weevil , looks like my lens was fogging up!

  120. Moth-Like Planthopper (Ricarniidae) - DSC_3193
  121. Moth-Like Planthopper (Ricanula cf. stigmatica)

    Final subject of the night, a common Moth-Like Planthopper . Many people mistake this to be a moth… so look closer next time!

  122. Moth-Like Planthopper (Ricarniidae) - DSC_3195
  123. Moth-Like Planthopper (Ricanula cf. stigmatica)

    Getting a shot parallel to the wings.

The complete album can be viewed here.




Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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