the orchid mantis color experiment

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thehelepolis

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Update: chris has lost even more of his pink color along his back legs. Even the darkest spot among his back legs is comparatively light

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thehelepolis

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Now for cross: cross seems to have lost some of the pink along the lobes of her legs, however the very beginning stubs of her back legs have kept their pink and grown darker. Cross also has a slight pink/orange tinge along the lobes, but it is not very noticeable. Note they they have not molted since the last update, but they are getting due for a molt and I will have another update then.

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Orin

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Good luck with this experiment! I've done similar experience with no visible results, so I'm interested in the outcome of yours!

- MantisGirl13 
I think people who do not notice results have substrate or other materials in or as part of the cage that throw off the experiment. The colored item has to be essentially the only color in the cage that the animal sees. Extra background colors throw it off and confuse the results. You can determine whether a female ghost becomes a green or brown adult in the same manner.

 

thehelepolis

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Hi everyone! I’m back with another update! First off, both Chris and cross have molted! Chris has seen no change in color so I think that blue is a color that they can’t replicate.

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thehelepolis

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Next up cross! Cross has became more pink, however it is not as much as I was expecting. I also don’t see a hint of yellow on him. Finally, I was wondering if you all could tell me who’s male or female. Right now my best guess is that their both male.

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thehelepolis

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Hi everyone! It’s been a while but both Chris and cross have molted into subadulthood. Both turned out to be males. As always, Chris is up first!

chris has gained 2 brown markings on his legs, something I’m guessing is his adult coloring beginning to form. Other than that, no observable change.

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thehelepolis

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For cross, his colors are rather dull but they seem to have somewhat adapted to match his pink and yellow flowers with his legs having both slight pink and yellow. One thing I have found out though is that an orchids colors are brightest around a molt, so when that comes, I will post some more pictures of the 2 so we can observe the colors at their brightest. I gotta say, I was hoping at least one would be a female but I still love the little guys

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thehelepolis

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I guess this will be the final major update. I will post adult cross and hopefully Chris but these next pictures are the final ones that will hold any relevance to the experiment. First off, Chris. Chrises brown markings have gotten more intense even though he hasn’t shown any sign of molting soon. Chris also seems to be sick, with an abdomen that never really flattens out I see black material in his lower thorax and abdomen. While I’m afraid about his chances of getting his wings, he’s handling the so called Black Death like a champ. 2 weeks and no sign of slowing down.

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thehelepolis

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Now on a more hopeful note, cross! Cross is definitely about to molt, and these pictures are from when his colors are at there most intense. While they aren’t as intense as I was hoping, cross ended up color matching his yellow and pink flowers... well on his back legs anyway.

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gravewurm88

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Do you know what's happening?  Really simple and logical when you think on it. I'ma blow your mind. The white of the mantis acts like a mirror of sorts and reflect back the colors it on to a slight degree. You could put a orchid on am orange sheet of paper and it'd look orange. Ever notice that painters always wear all white? Same reason reflection onto the surfaces can screw with the eye so painter wear all white to keep have a neutral "reflection." Does make sense? Simply put it's light absorption, wear black and get hotter quicker, absorbs more light. What makes animals change color is chromatophores mantids don't have these I think stick insects are the closest relatives that do

 

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