'Rare exotic' creature found near Chichester

A West Ashling mother got more than she bargained for when tidying around the house this week.

The Praying Mantis with Clare's hand for scale
The Praying Mantis with Clare's hand for scale

Claire Giles was tidying around her West Ashling home on Monday when she came across an exotic green creature scaling her walls.

The mother-of-four said: "It’s not something that I have seen before. She seemed pretty tame. I literally just walked outside to sweep my steps and she was crawling up the side of my house.”

After spying what she thought was a giant grasshopper, Clare called out to her children to witness it, before being told by her 12-year-old daughter, ‘that’s not a grass hopper, that’s a praying mantis — we need to do something about it’.

And so the family set off for Emsworth to get a professional opinion.

Clare said: "I handed her over to Emsworth Aquaria and Reptiles shop. I took her in and they said that it a very rare find in the UK and she was a small praying mantis. They said it is highly likely that it has escaped an enclosure.

Praying Matises are usually only found in temperate and tropical climates and while they can be found in Europe, this is often only in Germany, Latvia and Estonia.