Mantises were even worse than we thought

Recently we told you about a truly terrible creation of nature – senokosa rabbit. But as it turned out, the head on legs harmless, so looks really can be deceiving. But the praying mantis this statement does not apply. These ferocious insects with the weird eyes and overly gluttonous, to be honest, cause hostility. For man mantis is not dangerous and is very interested scientists. By the way, before writing this article all I know about those creepy insects is that the females bite off the males head after performance of “marital duty”. Agree, this is somewhat unusual behavior. But a new study does say that we know too little about these insects. In this article you will learn why these insects are more adept predators than we thought.

Praying mantises are unusual insects

Let’s start with the fact that the praying mantis is a large predatory insects with adapted to capture food with its front paws. Scientists distinguish Bogomolov in the same squad Bogomolovym, which has a total of 2853 view. By the way, its unusual name they have is not the angelic nature and kind disposition, and special hunting position in which they fold their front legs, like a man who prays to God. For the first time this was brought to the attention of an eminent Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 distant. By the way, the Latin name of the mantis sounds like “Mantis religiosa”, which literally translates as “religious priest”.

It is noteworthy that not all praying mantis is called mantis, sorry for the tautology. For example, in Spain these insects are known as Caballito del Diablo – the devil’s horse or just – muerte – death. And, most importantly, these names are linked with no less horrible and cruel habits of mantises.

Bogomolov males reach a length of up to 52 mm, females up to 75 mm. Another feature of these insects is their ability to disguise a variety of plants.

Anyway, long strong legs Bogomolov, colour and shape of some types of involuntarily attract the eye. So, Hymenopus coronatus, Orchid mantis barely distinguishable from the flower, and pearl color, masking it under the Orchid flowers and did amazing. It is noteworthy that the males of this species is almost two times smaller than females. The researchers note that some insects have acquired a bright appearance for camouflage, others to attract the opposite sex, and others — to scare off enemies.

It should be noted that almost all types include mantid (if I may so say) well-developed wings. However, fly mostly males. All because females are traditionally larger and heavier, which means to fly them is clearly not so simple. Eat these unusual predators as smaller insects and insects are larger. In the food are all wasps, butterflies, flies, bumblebees, bees, beetles etc. don’t know about you, but the last thing I would like to meet praying mantises that eat birds and small amphibians, such as lizards and frogs. BRR! But what is the prey mantis?

Like a prey mantis

According to a study published in the journal Biology Letters, these fierce insects do not just hunt like robots. Everything is much, much worse – mantis calibrate their attacks to be more effective at capturing prey when she flies past – and with different speeds.

As writes the New York Times, predatory animals are traditionally divided into two categories depending on how they catch their prey. The first group pursues the prey and knocks them down (so usually hunt cheetahs and other large predators). The second group is better known as expectant predators – they hide until the right moment, and then instantly strike.

However, in recent times this view was questioned. Studying shrimp-mantids, which capture prey by ultrafast shock, the scientists found that these insects control the speed of the impact! And the results of the study Bogomolov 2016 showed that they exhibit flexibility when it comes to “catching” stationary insects. Look at this picture:

This is a screenshot video where the mantis is closely watching the passing fly. Before she can blink an eye, as it is already grabbed quickly, and most importantly, without a doubt, all the movements of the praying mantis accurately calculated

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In the experiment, researchers placed one of Madagascar marble mantis on a raised platform under a bright light. Then they sent a production – either a dead beetle or similar on his bead in the direction of a praying mantis on a transparent wire. The target could move with three speeds, each of which was closer to another type of prey mantis. The slowest of them 200 millimeters per second is the average flight speed of a fruit fly. With a quick – 730 mm per second – simulated falling fly. The authors have placed eight different Bogomolov through dozens of swings, taking each of them on a high speed camera. They then analyzed the recorded movement of insects.

The results showed that the strike of a praying mantis has two phases: in the first phase of the mantis pulls the legs up and out. In the second phase – the phase of the sweep, the mantis grabs prey from the air and draws her to him to eat.