Photographer's Note

It was one sunny day when I went, around 9h, from my appartement to the beach... This creature was very fanscinating for me because its really slowly movements...and, it was just outside my door.
I took a few shots... If you want, you can take also look on the other two here and here.

A praying mantis is a kind of insect, of the family Mantidae (order Mantodea), named for their "prayer-like" stance. (The word mantis in Greek means prophet.) There are approximately 2,000 species world-wide; most are tropical or subtropical. There are three species of praying mantises that are common: the European mantis (Mantis religiosa), the Chinese mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis), and the Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina). The English and Chinese species were introduced to the United States around the 1900s as garden predators hoping to control the pest populations.

Mantids are notable for their large size and nimble reflexes. Their diet usually consists of living insects, including flies and aphids; larger species have been known to prey on small lizards, frogs, birds and even rodents. A mantid's prey is caught and held securely with its grasping forelegs. Mantids make use of protective colouration to blend in with the foliage, both to avoid predators themselves, and to better snare their victims.

Mantids are also known to be cannibals. They are not only known to eat other insects, but also other mantids, sometimes even their mating partners (though the frequency of this is often overstated). During the mating season, which typically begins in autumn, male mantids are cautious when approaching female mantids. The male usually approaches from behind and hangs onto the female's back with his front legs. He then deposits and stores sperm cells into a special chamber in the female abdomen. The danger may occur during the mating process or afterwards where the female mantis devours her male mate, sometimes starting by biting off his head. Usually the male mantids will try to get the job done before they are eaten, even if it means performing the task while they are being eaten. Aldous Huxley made philosophical observations about the nature of death while two mantids mated in the sight of two characters in the novel Island. The species was Gongylus gongylodes.

The praying mantis goes through three stages of metamorphosis: egg, nymph, and adult. Scientists also refer this to an incomplete metamorphosis because the nymph and adult insect look so much alike except it is smaller and has no wings. A mantis nymph increases in size by replacing its outer body covering with a sturdy, flexible exoskeleton and molting when needed. This can happen up to five to ten times, depending on the species. After the final molt it should have full grown wings.

verge, Spoony, Oldtree, ChrisJ, jhm, elihesamian, TrippleDB ha contrassegnato questa nota come utile

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Additional Photos by Don Qui (DonQ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 458 W: 95 N: 554] (2625)
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