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Mantodea
Fossil range: 145–0 Ma
Cretaceous–Recent
Giant African Mantis, Sphodromantis viridis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Dictyoptera
Order: Mantodea
Burmeister, 1838
Families
Synonyms
  • Manteodea Burmeister, 1829
  • Mantearia
  • Mantoptera
Mantodea or mantises is an order of insects that contains approximately 2,200 species in 9 families[1] worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. .Historically, the term "mantid" was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other eight recently-established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.^ Most of the species are in the family Mantidae.
  • Praying Mantis : Stuff From A. Raven ~ Raven Studio 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.cafepress.com [Source type: General]
  • Praying Mantis | X - 1 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.orsillo.com [Source type: General]

^ The family Mantidae contains over one-quarter of the world’s mantid species.
  • Families of Mantodea of British Columbia 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.geog.ubc.ca [Source type: Academic]

^ Historically, the term "mantid" was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other eight recently-established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.
  • Praying Mantis : Stuff From A. Raven ~ Raven Studio 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.cafepress.com [Source type: General]

), and the term "mantises" should be used when referring to the entire order. .A colloquial name for the order is "praying mantises", because of the typical "prayer-like" stance, although the term is often misspelled as "preying mantis" since mantises are predatory.^ Why the southern style took the Praying Mantis name will be discussed later.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This would seem especially important to a style like southern mantis: since the mantis stylist's forte is infighting.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Because of this difference in pronunciation, Chow Gar is often thought to be a third branch of Southern Praying Mantis.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In Europe, the name "praying mantis" refers to Mantis religiosa.^ Why the southern style took the Praying Mantis name will be discussed later.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ For more detailed information about the Chu Gar legends and their students and disciples please refer to the Chu Gar section in the "Southern Praying Mantis Family" section below.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This style had at that time three forms and the name was changed to Praying Mantis to hide it from the Manchu spies.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera (termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder. They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.

Contents

Etymology

The scientific name Mantodea comes from Greek the words μάντις meaning a prophet, and εἶδος for form or shape. The name was coined in 1838 by the German entomologist Hermann Burmeister. The common term mantis is also from the Greek word μάντις for prophet.[2][3]

Taxonomy and systematics

History of study

The systematics of mantises have long been disputed. Mantises, along with walking sticks, were once placed in the order Orthoptera with the cockroaches (now Blattodea) and rock crawlers (now Grylloblattodea). Kristensen (1991) combined Mantodea with the cockroaches and termites into the order Dictyoptera.[4]

Anatomy and morphology

Close up image of a Mantis' face (Archimantis latistyla) showing its compound eyes and labrum. The structure of the compound eye creates the illusion of a small pupil.
The foreleg modifications
Mantises have two grasping, spiked forelegs ("raptorial legs") in which prey items are caught and held securely. .The first thoracic segment, the prothorax, is commonly elongated and flexibly articulated, allowing for greater range of movement of the front limbs while the remainder of the body remains more or less immobile.^ In such a case, the mantis stylist would simply sidestep the attack and allow his opponent's own movement to bring him into range.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The articulation of the head is also remarkably flexible, permitting nearly 300 degrees of movement in some species, allowing for a great range of vision (their compound eyes have a large binocular field of vision) without having to move the remainder of the body.^ First, he is able to react immediately to the stimulus of an aggressive action without having to wait for his brain to process the information through his eyes.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In such a case, the mantis stylist would simply sidestep the attack and allow his opponent's own movement to bring him into range.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.As their hunting relies heavily on vision, they are primarily diurnal, but many species will fly at night.^ As their hunting relies heavily on vision, they are primarily diurnal, but many species will fly at night, and can be commonly encountered at lights.
  • Praying or Preying Mantis? 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.emmitsburg.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Many species of mantids resemble ants when they are small, but as they go through a series of molts, they begin to look more like adult mantids.
  • Insecta Inspecta World - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.insecta-inspecta.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The praying mantis is considered diurnal, meaning that most of their activity takes place during the day, though sometimes you will see them flying around at night.
  • Praying Mantis Facts - LoveToKnow Garden 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC garden.lovetoknow.com [Source type: General]

Evolution

Mantises evolved from proto-cockroaches, diverging from their common ancestors by the Cretaceous period, possibly from species like Raphidiomimula burmitica, a predatory cockroach with mantis-like forelegs. .Possibly the earliest known modern mantis is Regiata scutra, although more common (and confirmed) is Santanmantis, a stilt-legged genus, also from the Cretaceous.^ It is more common for those who handle a mantis to have the insect clamp one or both forelegs onto an individual.
  • WikiAnswers - Does a praying mantis bite 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC wiki.answers.com [Source type: General]

^ No mantis from this particular time period has ever been found with spines, although modern mantises have five or six on their forelegs, which help them catch prey.
  • 87 Million Year-Old Praying Mantis Found 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.weirdasianews.com [Source type: General]

^ Although many refer to a member of this group as a ‘praying mantis,' mantis refers to the genus Mantis.
  • Praying Mantids | University of Kentucky Entomology 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.ca.uky.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Praying Mantis Egg Cases (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) Chinese Mantis Eggs 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.arbico-organics.com [Source type: General]

Like their close termite cousins, though, mantises did not become common and diverse until the early Tertiary period.

Behavior

Diet and predatory behavior


Mantises are exclusively predatory. .Insects form the primary diet, but larger species have been known to prey on small lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, and even rodents; they will prey upon any species small enough to successfully capture and devour.^ When two students are training together, they can work with special pulling and pushing exercises known as cuo shou.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Snakes and wolves were known to come out in the evening to look for food in and around the village area.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The lack of enough debris to constitute the remains of a commercial airliner, or the very small hole in the Pentagon that would be much larger had a commercial airliner been the cause.
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

Most species of mantis are known to engage in cannibalism. The majority of mantises are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray too near. .The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed.^ The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed.
  • Praying or Preying Mantis? 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.emmitsburg.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ When a tasty morsel does venture near the well-camouflaged Mantis, the front legs shoot out at high speed and grab the unfortunate victim.
  • Hawaiian Creatures - Praying Mantid 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.instanthawaii.com [Source type: General]

.Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey rather quickly.^ Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey rather quickly.
  • Praying or Preying Mantis? 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.emmitsburg.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some species can hear the bats approach and will collapse their wings and fall to the ground in an uncontrolled manor, this helps them quickly escape the hunting bats.
  • Easy Insects - the home of exotic insect information for Scorpions, Tarantulas and more - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.easyinsects.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Like stick insects, the females of some species of mantis can produce young from unfertilised eggs, but again, for most kinds breeding is rather more conventional.
  • Caring for Stick Insects and Praying Mantis - Keeping Exotic Pets (UK) 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk [Source type: General]

Prey items are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs.

Defense and camouflage

Species in genus Choeradodis have laterally expanded thoraxes for leaf mimicry.
Generally, mantises are protected simply by virtue of concealment. .When directly threatened, many mantis species stand tall and spread their forelegs, with their wings fanning out wide.^ The praying mantis stands 3.5 inches tall, is 3.5 inches from from to back and 2 inches wide.
  • Fair Trade Wire and Bead Praying Mantis: Other Home & Garden: WorldofGood.com by eBay 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC worldofgood.ebay.com [Source type: General]

^ Praying mantises, when threatened, stand tall and spread their forelegs with their wings fanning out wide (Patterson).
  • Praying mantis - Encyclopedia Jr, free information reference for Kids 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.encyclopediajr.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ If a praying mantis should, in fact, turn out to be a prophet or a seer or an alien species that dates from prehistoric times, I should would hate to meet up with one.
  • Praying Mantis DesertUSA 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.desertusa.com [Source type: General]

.The fanning of the wings evidently makes the mantis seem larger and more threatening, with some species having bright colors and patterns on their hind wings and inner surfaces of their front legs for this purpose.^ The fanning of the wings is used to make the mantis seem larger and to scare the opponent.
  • Praying mantis - Encyclopedia Jr, free information reference for Kids 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.encyclopediajr.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The two front legs of the mantis are highly specialized.
  • Praying Mantid Page 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.growquest.com [Source type: General]

^ The mantis seemed to be a lighter color.

.If harassment persists, a mantis may then strike with its forelegs and attempt to pinch or bite.^ Prey is secured in a lightning-fast strike, as the mantis lunges forward and seizes its victim with the extended forelegs.
  • Living Library | Praying Mantis | Article in Other 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.wildwatch.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

As part of the threat display, some species also may produce a hissing sound by expelling air from the abdominal spiracles. When flying at night, at least some mantises are able to detect the echolocation sounds produced by bats, and when the frequency begins to increase rapidly, indicating an approaching bat, they will stop flying horizontally and begin a descending spiral toward the safety of the ground, often preceded by an aerial loop or spin.[5][6]
.Mantises, like stick insects, show rocking behaviour in which the insect makes rhythmic, repetitive side-to-side movements.^ Like these insects, mantises have mouth parts designed to chew food.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ There's even a pamphlet available for serious breeders (for beneficial insect sales) called Praying Mantises: Keeping Aliens, or something like that.
  • How To Care for a Pet Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hubpages.com [Source type: General]

^ As recently as 1995, the Chigs of Space: Above and Beyond were imagined to be like praying mantises or walking sticks.
  • TRN - May 1999 - Graying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.reall.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Functions proposed for this behaviour include the enhancement of crypsis by means of the resemblance to vegetation moving in the wind. However, the repetitive swaying movements may be most important in allowing the insects to discriminate objects from the background by their relative movement, a visual mechanism typical of simpler animals. .Rocking movements by these generally sedentary insects may replace flying or running as a source of relative motion of objects in the visual field.^ It measures an object's movement relative to its background, to gauge its distance (Kral 71).
  • Feldman 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.colostate.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ A single movement may contain several of these actions.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ These flies are great because they can't fly, so this makes handling these small insects much easier.
  • Mantis Mike's Praying Mantis Log 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC pages.prodigy.net [Source type: General]

[7]
.Mantises are masters of camouflage and most species make use of protective coloration to blend in with the foliage or substrate, both to avoid predators themselves, and to better snare their victims.^ Both puppets have the same master, yet portray themselves as opposed.
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

Various species have evolved to not only blend with the foliage, but to mimic it, appearing as either living or withered leaves, sticks, tree bark, blades of grass, flowers, or even stones. Some species in Africa and Australia are able to turn black after a molt following a fire in the region to blend in with the fire ravaged landscape (fire melanism). While mantises can bite, they have no venom. They can also slash captors with their raptorial legs. .They do not appear to be chemically protected; nearly any large predatory animal will eat a mantis such as Scops owls, shrikes, bullfrogs,chameleons and milk snakes.^ VAMPIRE Vampires appear just as they did in life, although their features are often hardened and feral, with the predatory look of wolves.
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

Reproduction and life history

Mantis religiosa mating (top male, bottom female)
A recently laid mantis ootheca
In some species of mantis, nymphs survive with the help of ant mimicry
.Sexual cannibalism is common among mantises in captivity, and under some circumstances may also be observed in the field.^ Under these conditions, some cannibalism was still observed.
  • Mantis cannibalism by Dr Beetle 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.drbeetle.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License ; additional terms may apply.
  • Wikijunior:Bugs/Praying Mantis - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC en.wikibooks.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Video: Mantis Shrimp Video Good vid, he breaks a crab 3.93 /5 - 1880 - 9 Video: Praying Mantis Kills Her Mate Sexual cannibalism is common among mantises in captivit.
  • SpikedHumor.com » Praying Mantis Kung Fu Master » SpikedHumor.com 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.spikedhumor.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The female may start feeding by biting off the male’s head (as with any prey), and if mating had begun, the male’s movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm.^ The female may start feeding by biting off the male's head (as with any prey), and if mating had begun, the male's movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm.
  • Praying Mantis -- Its Cannibalistic Nature 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
  • Similar questions with male praying mantis copulate head attached body 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC askville.amazon.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Even after a male mantis has mated with a female, he is not safe from her tremendous appetite.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

.Early researchers thought that because copulatory movement is controlled by ganglion in the abdomen, not the head, removal of the male’s head was a reproductive strategy by females to enhance fertilisation while obtaining sustenance.^ In addition to the time-saving aspect of his fighting posture, the ability to catch an attack early in its movement makes it possible to control the blow with not too much effort.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Later, this behaviour appeared to be an artifact of intrusive laboratory observation. Whether the behaviour in the field is natural, or also the result of distractions caused by the human observer, remains controversial. Mantises are highly visual organisms, and notice any disturbance occurring in the laboratory or field such as bright lights or moving scientists. .Research by Liske and Davis (1987) and others found (e.g.^ Refreshingly, a study by Liske and Davis in 1987 threw the first human light on the importance of the natural environment to behavior in mantises.
  • Mantis cannibalism by Dr Beetle 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.drbeetle.com [Source type: Original source]

using video recorders in vacant rooms) that Chinese mantises that had been fed ad libitum (so that they were not starving) actually displayed elaborate courtship behavior when left undisturbed. .The male engages the female in courtship dance, to change her interest from feeding to mating.^ Females are notorious for eating the male after mating.
  • Unusual Pets - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.petplace.com [Source type: General]

^ The female may start feeding by biting off the male's head (as with any prey), and if mating had begun, the male's movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm.
  • Praying Mantis -- Its Cannibalistic Nature 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Upon mating the female will often begin eating the male which still copulating, this it is believed encourages the male to release his spermatophore which contains the fertilising sperm.
  • Easy Insects - the home of exotic insect information for Scorpions, Tarantulas and more - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.easyinsects.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Courtship display has also been observed in other species, but it does not hold for all mantises.^ Although the female of some species of praying mantises is known for eating the head of its mate after copulation, this rarely occurs in this species and when it does, it may be an artifact of captivity.
  • half-pie: Mantis female 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC halfpie.net [Source type: General]

^ In some species, the male and female engage in a ritualistic courtship dance, stroking each other fondly with their antennae before they finally mate.
  • Praying Mantis DesertUSA 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.desertusa.com [Source type: General]

^ Offer does not apply to E-Bay, Craig's List or similar, but to any and all other on-line stores.
  • WebBall.com - Akadema Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.webball.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The reason for sexual cannibalism has been debated, with some considering submissive males to be achieving a selective advantage in their ability to produce offspring.^ Sexual cannibalism is common among mantises in captivity, and under some circumstances may also be observed in the field.
  • Praying Mantis -- Its Cannibalistic Nature 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ With such highly evolved bodies for capturing and seizing prey, why are females infamous for their sexual cannibalism of males?
  • The Female Praying Mantis: Sexual Predator or Misunderstood | Serendip's Exchange 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC serendip.brynmawr.edu [Source type: General]

^ There is some additional information that suggests that cannibalism of the male arthropod is not the norm.
  • Mantis cannibalism by Dr Beetle 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.drbeetle.com [Source type: Original source]

.This theory is supported by a quantifiable increase in the duration of copulation among males who are cannibalized, in some cases doubling both the duration and the chance of fertilization.^ There is some additional information that suggests that cannibalism of the male arthropod is not the norm.
  • Mantis cannibalism by Dr Beetle 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.drbeetle.com [Source type: Original source]

^ If, by chance, you have 2 females, one male will fertilize both of them, assuming you can get the male out after the first mating, but this will take a few extra flies before the mating to pacify the first one.

^ In some cases, the male sings an aggressive song if his territory is being invaded by another male.
  • Untitled Document 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.uni.uiuc.edu [Source type: Original source]

.This is further supported in a study where males were seen to approach hungry females with more caution, and were shown to remain mounted on hungry females for a longer time, indicating that males actively avoiding cannibalism may mate with multiple females.^ The male then approaches her with caution.
  • The Female Praying Mantis: Sexual Predator or Misunderstood | Serendip's Exchange 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC serendip.brynmawr.edu [Source type: General]

^ Females are notorious for eating the male after mating.
  • Unusual Pets - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.petplace.com [Source type: General]

^ What's the purpose of the female mating only when she's hungry?
  • The Female Praying Mantis: Sexual Predator or Misunderstood | Serendip's Exchange 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC serendip.brynmawr.edu [Source type: General]

.The act of dismounting is one of the most dangerous times for males during copulation, for it is at this time that females most frequently cannibalize their mates.^ In fact, they sometimes attack the males during the mating act.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ Female mantis eating the male during mating is a sort of a misconception.
  • The Female Praying Mantis: Sexual Predator or Misunderstood | Serendip's Exchange 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC serendip.brynmawr.edu [Source type: General]

^ If successful, during the mating, the female will eat the male's head.
  • Consider a Praying Mantis as a Pet - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.associatedcontent.com [Source type: General]

.This increase in mounting duration was thought to indicate that males would be more prone to wait for an opportune time to dismount from a hungry female rather than from a satiated female that would be less likely to cannibalize her mate.^ The male usually causes more damage to the host than the female.
  • Untitled Document 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.uni.uiuc.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Males often disperse more than females.
  • Mantis cannibalism by Dr Beetle 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.drbeetle.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Brilliant shot would be more like it.
  • "Praying Mantis (2)" Fine Art Print by robkal [157516-11] - RedBubble 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.redbubble.com [Source type: General]

.Some consider this to be an indication that male submissiveness does not inherently increase male reproductive success, rather that more fit males are likely to approach a female with caution and escape.^ The male then approaches her with caution.
  • The Female Praying Mantis: Sexual Predator or Misunderstood | Serendip's Exchange 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC serendip.brynmawr.edu [Source type: General]

^ The female may start feeding by biting off the male's head (as with any prey), and if mating had begun, the male's movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm.
  • Praying Mantis -- Its Cannibalistic Nature 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some species can hear the bats approach and will collapse their wings and fall to the ground in an uncontrolled manor, this helps them quickly escape the hunting bats.
  • Easy Insects - the home of exotic insect information for Scorpions, Tarantulas and more - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.easyinsects.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[8]
.The mating season in temperate climates typically begins in autumn.^ Autumn is the time of mating for mantises in temperate climates.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ Breeding season is during the late summer season in temperate climates.
  • The Female Praying Mantis: Sexual Predator or Misunderstood | Serendip's Exchange 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC serendip.brynmawr.edu [Source type: General]

.To mate following courtship, the male usually leaps onto the female’s back, and clasps her thorax and wing bases with his forelegs.^ Females are notorious for eating the male after mating.
  • Unusual Pets - Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.petplace.com [Source type: General]

^ The female may start feeding by biting off the male's head (as with any prey), and if mating had begun, the male's movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm.
  • Praying Mantis -- Its Cannibalistic Nature 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ I did a little research and the most interesting fact I found out about these little alien freaks is that after the females mate with the males, she bites their head off!
  • Rock Star Diary: Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.pixxiestails.com [Source type: General]

.He then arches his abdomen to deposit and store sperm in a special chamber near the tip of the female’s abdomen.^ Sperm cells pass from the male's body to the female's, where they are stored in a special chamber in her abdomen.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ Then be bends the tip of his abdomen under to join the tip of the female's abdomen.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ As the female eggs pass through her reproductive system, the stored sperm fertilizes them.
  • Feldman 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.colostate.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The female then lays between 10 and 400 eggs, depending on the species. Eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the abdomen. This froth then hardens, creating a protective capsule with a further protective coat, and the egg mass is called an ootheca. .Depending on the species these can be attached to a flat surface, wrapped around a plant or even deposited in the ground.^ Best results will be achieved by attaching the egg cases to a twig or a plant using a twistum or wire tie, wrap around the egg case and tie it to a branch in warm location, filtered sunlight.
  • Buglogical Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.buglogical.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Praying Mantis 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.wormman.com [Source type: General]

^ The egg sacks (oothecae) are deposited on flat open surfaces between Febuary and continue through to April .
  • half-pie: Mantis female 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC halfpie.net [Source type: General]

^ You can select and divide new plants from around the base of the main mother plant and grow more plants where ever you choose, in planters, the yard or even in large containers!
  • Buy a Praying Mantis : Buy Praying Mantis buy praying mantis insects with FREE SHIPPING ~ Buy Praying Mantis Eggs 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC statequarters.20m.com [Source type: General]

Despite the versatility and durability of the eggs, they are often preyed on, especially by several species of parasitic wasps. .In a few species, the mother guards the eggs.^ Eggs are laid in burrows or under debris and guarded by the mother.
  • Untitled Document 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.uni.uiuc.edu [Source type: Original source]

As in related insect groups, mantises go through three stages of metamorphosis: egg, nymph, and adult (mantises are among the hemimetabolic insects). .The nymph and adult insect are structurally quite similar, except that the nymph is smaller and has no wings or functional genitalia.^ A nymph is very similar to its parents except it's much smaller and has no wings.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ The nymphs prey upon, insects smaller than themselves, leaf hoppers, aphids, and very small flies.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ Scientists call this an incomplete metamorphosis because the nymph looks quite a lot like the adult insect.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

The nymphs are also sometimes colored differently from the adult, and the early stages are often mimics of ants. A mantis nymph increases in size (often changing its diet as it does so) 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.^ Mantis nymphs may molt five to ten times in all, depending on the species.
  • The Praying (Preying) Mantis, The Dragon of the Insect World * Buy Mantids, Live Lady Bugs, Green, Lacewings, Nematodoes 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.maskedflowerimages.com [Source type: General]

^ The band has managed to come up with ten very strong new songs that have a refreshing Praying Mantis sound that has been modernized to this time.
  • Praying Mantis on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.myspace.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.After the final molt most species have wings, though some species are wingless or brachypterous ("short-winged"), particularly in the female sex.^ Both sexes may be winged or wingless.
  • Untitled Document 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.uni.uiuc.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Most Hemipterans have well developed wings, however, some species have short wings or no wings.
  • Untitled Document 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.uni.uiuc.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Although the female of some species of praying mantises is known for eating the head of its mate after copulation, this rarely occurs in this species and when it does, it may be an artifact of captivity.
  • half-pie: Mantis female 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC halfpie.net [Source type: General]

In tropical species, the natural lifespan of a mantis in the wild is about 10–12 months, but some species kept in captivity have been sustained for 14 months. .In colder areas, females will die during the winter (as well as any surviving males).^ In colder areas, mantises will die during the winter.
  • Praying mantis - Encyclopedia Jr, free information reference for Kids 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.encyclopediajr.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ I plan to mate one of the males to the female after both a re well fed.
  • Mantis Mike's Praying Mantis Log 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC pages.prodigy.net [Source type: General]

^ Female praying mantids are known to eat the male after and even during the mating process!

Pest control uses

Organic gardeners who avoid pesticides may encourage mantises as a form of biological pest control. .Tens of thousands of mantis egg cases are sold each year in some garden stores for this purpose.^ Praying-Mantis-egg-case.html and I'm thinking of buying some.
  • How to raise Baby Praying Mantis' 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC www.instructables.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Many gardeners will order Praying Mantis egg cases for their garden and or yard.
  • Yahoo! Canada Answers - What do new born praying mantis eat? 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC ca.answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

^ Not sure if the egg case really needs to be elevated, but it might be fun if/when this second egg case hatches, to give the manti something to crawl down on for a photo opportunity.

During fall, praying mantis females deposit a sticky egg case on the underside of a leaf or on a twig. If the egg case survives winter, the babies, called nymphs, emerge in late spring or early summer. The nymphs have voracious appetites and typically cannibalize each other if they don't have an adequate supply of aphids and other small insects. Egg cases are commercially available for placement in landscaping.[9]
However, mantises prey on neutral and beneficial insects as well, basically eating anything they can successfully capture and devour.

Conservation status

.Only one Spanish species, Apteromantis aptera, is listed as Lower Risk/Near Threatened.^ As one can see from this breakdown a Vampire is D&D is not only stronger, and Faster than a Werewolf, it is also more powerful in the magic end, and also retains any special features of it pre-vampire life.
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

.With one exception (the ground mantis Litaneutria minor in Canada, where it is rare — though it is common in the United States), North American mantises are not included among threatened or endangered species, though species in other parts of the world are under threat from habitat destruction.^ This post is about one of the coolest places to visit in the United States of America.
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

^ He was the first certified teacher of Chu Gar Praying Mantis in the United States.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ With the current Government being focused on North Korea and Iran, the planners of this test have overlooked one hugely important factor: What will happen here in the United States?
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

.The European mantis (Mantis religiosa) is the state insect of Connecticut, but the General Statutes of Connecticut do not list any special protected status, as it is a non-native species from Europe and Northern Africa.^ Lau Soei brought Hakka praying mantis to Hong Kong and taught the first Non-Hakka generation.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[10]

Introduced species

.About 20 species are native to the United States, including the common Carolina mantis, and only one in Canada.^ This post is about one of the coolest places to visit in the United States of America.
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

^ He was the first certified teacher of Chu Gar Praying Mantis in the United States.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ With the current Government being focused on North Korea and Iran, the planners of this test have overlooked one hugely important factor: What will happen here in the United States?
  • Wand of Wonder 2.0: May 2006 15 September 2009 20:31 UTC www.third-option.com [Source type: General]

.Two species (the Chinese mantis and the European Mantis) were deliberately introduced to serve as pest control for agriculture, and have spread widely in both countries.^ A skillful mantis will defend and attack using one arm (leaving one hand free) to trap and control the opponents two arms.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.While it is legal to keep native mantises as pets or to sell egg cases for gardening, non-native species are illegal to possess and release in the United States, under the Non-Native Invasive Species Act of 1992. Despite this, there is a strong market in the exotic pet trade for mantis species from Asia and Africa, and many species are bred in captivity for this purpose.^ He was the first certified teacher of Chu Gar Praying Mantis in the United States.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In the United States he studied Southern Praying Mantis under Lum Sang for ten years.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[11]

Historical references

One of the earliest mantis references is in the ancient Chinese dictionary Erya, which gives its attributes in poetry (representing courage and fearlessness), as well as a brief description. A later text, the Jingshi Zhenglei Daguan Bencao 經史證類大觀本草 ("Bencao of the Daguan period, Annotated and Arranged by Types, Based upon the Classics and Historical Works") from 1108, is impressively correct on the construction of the egg packages, the development cycle, the anatomy and even the function of the antennae.
Western descriptions of the biology and morphology of the mantises had become relatively accurate by the 18th century. Roesel von Rosenhof accurately illustrated and described them in the Insekten-Belustigungen (Insect Entertainments). Aldous Huxley made philosophical observations about the nature of death while two mantises mated in the sight of two characters in the novel Island (the species was Gongylus gongylodes). The naturalist Gerald Durrell's autobiography My Family and Other Animals includes an account of a very evenly matched battle between a mantis and a gecko. .Based upon empirical evidence, the Australian mantis has been known to strike fear amongst the native Australian gecko causing great avoidance tendencies as it marks its territory.^ This principle of contact, control and strike is central to all mantis action is based on the three powers of the arm; from the shoulder to the elbow, elbow to the wrist, wrist to the fingertips.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

M. C. Escher's woodcut Dream depicts a human-sized mantis standing on a sleeping monk.

Mythology

.Southern African indigenous mythology refers to the praying mantis as a god in Khoi and San traditional myths and practices, and the word for the mantis in Afrikaans is hottentotsgot (literally, the god of the Khoi).^ Southern Praying Mantis system .
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Another excellent site for Southern Praying Mantis.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The Southern Praying Mantis forms include hidden Dim Mak strikes.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[12][13]

See also

Sources

References

  1. ^ [1] 2008 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  2. ^ Essig, Edward Oliver (1947). College entomology. New York: Macmillan Co.. p. 124. OCLC 809878. http://books.google.ca/books?cd=3&id=IXpXAAAAMAAJ&dq=Mantodea+Burmeister%2C+1838&q=prophet#search_anchor. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  3. ^ Harper, Douglas. "mantis" (in English). Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=mantis. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  4. ^ Costa, James. The other insect societies. Harvard University Press. pp. 135-136. ISBN 0674021630. http://books.google.com/books?id=PYRFDrZs9QAC&pg=PA135&dq=Mantodea&lr=&ei=zbMyS6_BLpqIlQSZuLy5AQ&client=safari&cd=3#v=onepage&q=Mantodea&f=false. 
  5. ^ Yager, D., May, M. (1993) Coming in on a Wing and an Ear. (Cover Story). Natural History 102.1: 28.
  6. ^ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/11/1119_021119_TVbats_2.html Praying Mantis Uses Ultrasonic Hearing to Dodge Bats
  7. ^ O'Dea, JD. Eine zusatzliche oder alternative Funktion der 'kryptischen' Schaukelbewegung bei Gottesanbeterinnen und Stabschrecken (Mantodea, Phasmatodea). Entomologische Zeitschrift, 101, Nr. 1/2, 15 January 1991, 25–27.
  8. ^ J. P. Lelito and W. D. Brown (2006) Sexual conflict in a praying mantis. The American Naturalist 168 [2].
  9. ^ Praying mantis Preys on Insect Pests
  10. ^ CT.gov: The State Insect
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ [4]
  13. ^ [5]

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

.MANTIS, an insect belonging to the order Orthoptera. Probably no other insect has been the subject of so many and widespread legends and superstitions as the common "praying mantis," Mantis religiosa, L. The ancient Greeks endowed it with supernatural powers (awns, a diviner); the Turks and Arabs hold that it prays constantly with its face turned towards Mecca; the Provencals call it Prega-Diou (Prie-Dieu); and numerous more or less similar names - preacher, saint, nun, mendicant, soothsayer, &c.^ Advanced students in the art am taught to strike more complex and less obvious (though no less effective) targets.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ But Uechi Ryu has a form called Som Bo Gin (Three Arrow Fist), the most famous southern praying mantis form, and both form have similar movements and also the Uechi Ryu foot movements mimic those of Southern Mantis.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ For more detailed information about the Chu Gar legends and their students and disciples please refer to the Chu Gar section in the "Southern Praying Mantis Family" section below.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

- are widely diffused throughout southern Europe. .In Nubia it is held in great esteem, and the Hottentots, if not indeed worshipping the local species (M. fausta), as one traveller has alleged, at least appear to regard its alighting upon any person both as a token of saintliness and an omen of good fortune.^ It was developed as a style by the Hakka Chinese, considered to be outsiders by the other indigenous peoples of Kwangsi province, and the need for personal defense was indeed great.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Yet these are "not the saints, but the tigers of the insect world." The front pair of limbs are very peculiarly modified - the coxa being greatly elongated, while the strong third joint or femur bears on its curved underside a channel armed on each edge by strong movable spines. .Into this groove the stout tibia is capable of closing like the blade of a penknife, its sharp, serrated edge being adapted to cut and hold.^ The hands that seize holds and catch The head is down, eyes look sharp like that of a cat.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Thus armed, with head raised upon the much-elongated and semierect prothorax, and with the half-opened fore-limbs held outwards in the characteristic devotional attitude, it rests motionless upon the four posterior limbs waiting for prey, or occasionally stalks it with slow and silent movements, finally seizing it with its knife-blades and devouring it.^ Driving the punching arm across the center line of the body opens up the sides pushing downwards opens the head, blocking from the inside outward exposes the attacker's center line.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Although apparently not daring to attack ants, these insects destroy great numbers of flies, grasshoppers and caterpillars, and the larger South-American species even attack small frogs, lizards and birds. .They are very pugnacious, fencing with their sword-like limbs "like hussars with sabres," the larger frequently devouring the smaller, and the females the males.^ Some of the herbs are very poisonous, and sometimes they contain things like dried lizards.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The Chinese keep them in bamboo cages, and match them like fighting-cocks.
The common species fixes its somewhat nut-like egg capsules on the stems of plants in September. The young are hatched in early summer, and resemble the adults, but are without wings.
.The green coloration and shape of the typical mantis are procryptic, serving to conceal the insect alike from its enemies Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa). and prey.^ Think about a Praying Mantis, an insect which has the power to overcome opponents three times its own size.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ If we take as an example of those styles the Southern Praying Mantis one, we will see that it is a way of boxing developed with one purpose in mind: destroying the enemy.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Like the Mantis insect itself, that dismantles the legs of its prey, the Southern Praying Mantis system has many breaking of the leg techniques, which is ideal if you are close and want to end the situation quickly.
  • Southern Praying Mantis system - Southern Shaolin Global Kung Fu Discussion Board 23 January 2010 8:53 UTC hfy108.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The passage from leaf to flower simulation is but a step which, without interfering with the protective value of the coloration so far as insectivorous foes are concerned, carries with it the additional advantage of attracting flowerfeeding insects within reach of the raptorial limbs. This method of allurement has been perfected in certain tropical species of Mantidae by the development on the prothorax and raptorial limbs of laminate expansions so coloured on the under side as to resemble papilionaceous or other blossoms, to which the likeness is enhanced by a gentle swaying kept up by the insect in imitation of the effect of a lightly blowing breeze. As instances of this may be cited Idalum diabolicum, an African insect, and Gongylus gongyloides, which comes from India. Examples of another species (Empusa eugena) when standing upon the ground deceptively imitate in shape and hue a greenish white anemone tinted at the edges with rose; and Bates records what appears to be a true case of aggressive mimicry practised by a Brazilian species which exactly resembles the white ants it preys upon.


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Cladus: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Cladus: Neoptera
Supercohort: Polyneoptera
Cohort: Dictyoptera
Ordo: Mantodea
Familia: Mantidae
Subfamilia: Mantinae

Tribus: Mantini
Genus: Mantis
Species: M. beieri - M. callifera - M. carinata - M. dilaticollis - M. emortualis - M. griveaudi - M. indica - M. insignis - M. macroalata - M. macrocephala - M. octospilota - M. pia - M. religiosa - M. splendida - M. tricolor

Name

Mantis Linnaeus, 1758

Vernacular names


Simple English

Mantodea
Fossil range: Cretaceous - Recent
File:Large brown mantid07
Large brown mantid, Archimantis latistyla underneath a carrot flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Dictyoptera
Order: Mantodea

Mantises (order Mantodea) is a type of insect. It contains about 2,300 species. They occur in temperate and tropical habitats. Most are in are in the family Mantidae. For most of the past century, only this single family was recognized within the order, and the term "mantid" was therefore historically used for any member of the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other eight recently-established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.), and the term "mantises" (or the more colloquial "praying mantises") should be used when referring to the entire order. Often mistakenly spelled preying mantis (an eggcorn, since they are notoriously predatory), they are in fact named for the typical "prayer-like" stance. The word mantis derives from the Greek word mantis for prophet or fortune teller. In Europe, the name "praying mantis" refers to only a single species, Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera (termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder.

[[File:|thumb|left|The foreleg modifications]] Mantises are notable for their hunting abilities. They are exclusively predatory, and their diet usually consists of living insects, including flies and aphids; larger species have been known to prey on small lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, and even rodents. Most mantises are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray too near. The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed. Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey rather quickly. Prey are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs ("raptorial legs"); the first thoracic segment, the prothorax, is commonly elongated and flexibly articulated, allowing for greater range of movement of the front limbs while the remainder of the body remains more or less immobile. The articulation of the head is also remarkably flexible, permitting nearly 300 degrees of movement in some species, allowing for a great range of vision (their compound eyes have a large binocular field of vision) without having to move the remainder of the body. As their hunting relies heavily on vision, they are primarily diurnal, but many species will fly at night, and can be commonly encountered at lights.

Mantises are masters of camouflage and most species make use of protective coloration to blend in with the foliage or substrate, both to avoid predators themselves, and to better snare their victims. Various species have adapted to not only blend with the foliage, but to mimic it, appearing as either living or withered leaves, sticks, tree bark, blades of grass, flowers, or even stones. Some species in Africa and Australia are able to turn black after a molt following a fire in the region to blend in with the fire ravaged landscape (fire melanism). While mantises can bite, they have no venom, and are not dangerous to humans. They do not appear to be chemically protected; nearly any large predatory animal will eat a mantis if it is able to detect it (mantises are generally quite aggressive towards one another, in fact, and most species are readily cannibalistic when given the opportunity).


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 14, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Mantis, which are similar to those in the above article.








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