Source: diergaardeblijdorp.nl (text) and ongewoonongewerveld.nl (text and photo)
Zoos regularly have new births. Sometimes they are very big, like an elephant or a giraffe, or very cute, like tiger cubs or young polar bears. Some newborns, however, are nice and small.
Like the wandering violin mantis (Gongylus gonlylodes), that were first born in Blijdorp zoo (The Netherlands). Zoo visitors could first see the white, foamy egg deposits. The female has selected a warm spot for her eggs, right underneath a lamp. The offspring, almost 40 individuals, are a miniature version of their parents. The parents are about 8 centimetres long, the babies about 12 millimetres. The middle part of the wandering violin mantis’s body is very long and thin, resembling the neck of a violin. This is what gives the violin mantis its name. These animals originally live in India and Sri Lanka.
The wandering violin mantis is a master of camouflage. Its hind part and head resemble a dead leaf, the thin body resembles a twig. As such, the mantis lies between dead leaves waiting for prey to fly by. Its diet consists almost exclusively of flying insects. In captivity the wandering violin mantis eats common flies, fruit flies, hoverflies, butterflies and moths.