Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Spyed A Large Praying Mantis

This is another insect that is seldom seen. I found this one among the long grass during my walk and I whipped out the camera to capture my find.Mantises are masters of camouflage and most species make use of protective coloration to blend in with the foliage or substrate, both to avoid predators themselves, and to better snare their victims. I would have missed this one if I hadn't paused to search the grass for interesting creatures.
This fascinating insect is a formidable predator. It has a triangular head poised on a long "neck," or elongated thorax. Mantis can turn its head 180 degrees to scan its surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.
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 mantis 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.

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