Exploring the Wonderful World of Mantises

Mantises, Mantes, Mantids or whatever term you prefer to use for their plural form, are among the most fascinating and at the same time scariest insects in the world.The 2,300 species of praying mantises comprise an order of insects called Mantodea.The word ‘mantis’ is Greek, and means prophet or fortune teller. Praying prophet? Very appropriate. Mantids so often look like they know something we don’t.

Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.Praying mantids’ excellent eyesight allows some to see movement up to 60 feet (18 meters) away.
Typically green or brown and well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, mantis lie in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.

Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of unwanted mantid attention. However, the insects will also eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter males from reproduction.

Watch how the cruel female eats the male during their deadly intercourse:

Funny comic about their cannibalistic behavior

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