Thursday, September 27, 2012

The praying mantis

The praying mantis is so called because of its long spiked forelegs that are bent as if in prayer. Using these legs, the mantis lunges, grabs its prey, and holds it while eating it alive. They are predators, living on other insects, even cannibalizing one another at times. They lay their eggs in the autumn in layered clusters, covered by a foam that hardens and is waterproof, hanging from a branch. In the spring, the tiny babies that survived by not being eaten by their siblings or other insects climb the branch and go through several metamorphosis until they are adults. With their final metamorphosis, they have wings.
As pets, they are fun to watch. Feeding is generally easy, as they are aggressive and quick to snatch the offered food. Watching them eat may take a strong stomach, as the prey is alive and struggling through most of the ordeal. There are many different kinds of mantises in the pet trade, at all sorts of sizes. The largest mantis is the ischnomantis gigas, at a whopping 6 1/2 inches. The smallest is the bolbe pyhmaea, at about less than half an inch. It is well known that the female will eat the male during copulation. However, this does not always happen, especially if the female has been well fed prior.

No comments:

Post a Comment