Photograph courtesy of NGT
The praying mantis, or mantid, is so weird that ancient Greeks believed it had supernatural powers, naming it “mantis” which means “prophet” or “seer.” The carnivorous insect preys exclusively on living insects, seizing its prey with its spined front legs in a vise-like grip. During mating, the female often eats the male, first by biting its head off. As the dying male spasms, it often increases the amount of sperm delivered. Then, the female will eat the male’s carcass, which provides her with additional nourishment that she can use when she lays her eggs… up to 200 of them.
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