Precious Praying Mantises

For some reason, I’ve always found praying mantises to be rather cute, despite their threatening looking claws. Perhaps it is because they act like they think they’re tough but really aren’t. Their claws aren’t really anything more than hands, and they use them to hold prey not kill it. In addition, they are one of the few insects sometimes kept as pets.

Praying mantises are ambush predators and will stay in one place for long periods of time as long as they are well fed in that spot. Their front legs are not used for walking but instead are used like hands, making them look vaguely like a centaur. They are masters of camouflage by blending in to the background, or even pretending to be a flower. Some can even turn black after a forest fire to blend in better! Like the walking stick, the praying mantis will sway side to side when threatened, imitating a stick in the breeze and allowing it to get a better look at the potential threat. If this doesn’t work, the manits will bluff, spreading its wings and claws to make itself look scary.

Cites:

—. “Mantis.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Apr. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis.

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