|The Praying Mantis|
The Praying Mantis has to be the coolest bug or critter on the planet I reckon. For two reasons. They are usually green and green is the coolest colour and two, the female apparently eats the male after copulations. We'll look into that in a minute but first I thought about why I'm doing a post on the Mighty Mantis!
I had a wonderful Easter lunch at a friend's where their 1 year old had a pet Praying Mantis - and whilst he was playing in the sun porch he found another. His dad put in in the jar with the original and, the excitement over we went and had lunch.
Post chicken and potatoes we had a look at how the green-eyed monsters were playing. NOT TOO FRIENDLY! The original mantis was half way through eating his new jar mate, and in doing so proving to me that Pray Mantis do eat each other!
A colloquial name for the order is "praying mantises", because of the typical "prayer-like" stance, although the term is often misspelled as "preying mantis" since mantises are predatory
Although the praying mantis is known for its cannibalistic mating process in actuality it only occurs 5-31% of the time. Which kind makes me think those are some crap odds!
Apparently in laboratory set conditions of bright lights and confinement, the female mantis is more likely to eat the male as means of survival. A scientist once reported:
"In nature, mating usually takes place under cover, so rather than leaning over the tank studying their every move, we left them alone and videotaped what happened. We were amazed at what we saw. Out of thirty matings, we didn't record one instance of cannibalism, and instead we saw an elaborate courtship display, with both sexes performing a ritual dance, stroking each other with their antennae before finally mating.
OK so that's a little better then.
There is one species, however, the Mantis religiosa, in which it is necessary that the head be removed for the mating to take effect properly. Sexual cannibalism occurs most often if the female is hungry. But eating the head does causes the body to ejaculate faster....
Not many people know that the the mantis can lash out at remarkable speed as it catches prey. Prey items are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs. Check out this butterfly photo below:
|Wasp being eaten by the Mantis|
|A fly being eaten|
|Fried Fly Wing for dinner|
|Said the grasshopper to the mantis?|
Here's the classic picture of a praying mantis some how managing to hold onto a fucking bird. Maybe it was the most hungry mantis in the history of the entire species? I can respect that, it reminds me of this snake pulling up a kangaroo up a cliff.
|Bird attacked by a Praying Mantis|