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Thursday, 25 July 2019

The European mantis

The European mantis (Mantis religiosa) is a large hemimetabolic insect in the family of the Mantidae ('mantids'), which is the largest family of the order Mantodea (mantises). Their common name praying mantis is derived from the distinctive posture of the first pair of legs that can be observed in animals in repose. It resembles a praying attitude. Both males and females have elongated bodies with two pairs of wings. The most striking features that all Mantodea share are a very mobile, triangular head with large compound eyes and their first pair of legs (the 'raptorial legs') which is highly modified for the efficient capture and restraint of fast moving or flying prey.
In Germany, M. religiosa is listed as Gefährdet [Endangered] on the German Red List on the basis of an assessment from 1998. It is not supposed to be caught or held as a pet. At a global level, it is assessed by the IUCN as Least Concern. M. religiosa is a carnivorous ambush predator that actively scans its environment and feeds on most insects that are not too large to be captured by rapid extension of its raptorial legs. Only living and moving prey is captured and consumed immediately using their powerful mandibles. Grasshoppers seem to be rather popular, probably because of their type of movement (flying or leaping) but crickets and cockroaches are also frequently preyed upon.

 

(latin: Mantis religiosa)

Thursday, 25 July 2019