The Natural History of the Mutant Helianthus


(A fictitious species project – work in progress)


The Mutant Helianthus – A Natural History of the false flower mantids (a fully illustrated guide to the family of Phasmatodea Asteraciidae Cyclops),  was written by Professor Reuben Ellis and published in 1895.

Prof. Ellis was the first researcher to publish a book on this subject aimed at the general public. In his introduction he wrote:

“Through the publication of this volume I wish to share the wonder of this enchanting species, which can be found at almost all the corners of the world. A creature that has been both worshipped and reviled be our predecessors, but that has only in recent times been studied scientifically, its secrets revealed to an astonished group of naturalists. I have attempted to collocate this multifarious material into a volume that will illustrate the diversity and expanse of historical references as well as inform the reader of the exciting research that is now shedding new light on the order of false flower mantids.”

Mutant Helianthus Specimen


I myself only discovered the existence of this species sometime around 2005 and since then my interest has continually grown and expanded. It is my intention that this project will be going on exhibition when Covid permits and will include the publication of a book with illustrations and descriptions a small selection of asteraciidae and various pieces of artwork and objects that feature the image of the mutant helianthus.