The Praying Mantis

3429 WordsSep 25, 199914 Pages
The Praying Mantis (Mantis Religiosa) Contents Introduction Classes First Things First Key Features Basic Features Diet & Combat Style Reproduction Growth & Development Self-Defense Cultural Significance Praying Mantis Kung-Fu INTRODUCTION "Praying Mantis" is the name commonly used in English speaking countries to refer to a large, much elongated, slow-moving insect with fore legs fitted for seizing and holding insect prey. The name, "Praying Mantis" more properly refers to the specific Mantid species Mantis Religiosa or the European Mantis, but typically is used more generally to refer to any of the mantid family. The name is derived from the prayer-like position in which the insect holds its long, jointed front legs while at rest…show more content…
KEY FEATURES Key features of mantid physiology include a triangular head with large compound eyes, two long, thin antennae, and a collection of sharp mouth parts designed for devouring live prey. Because of its compound eye, the mantid's eyesight is very good. However, the sharpest vision is located in the compound eye's center so the mantis must rotate its head and look directly at an object for optimum viewing. Fortunately, the mantis can also rotate its head 180 degrees to see prey or approaching threats, the mantis can scan a total of 300 degrees. The mantid's eyes are very sensitive to light, changing from light green or tan in bright light, to dark brown in the dark. An elongated prothorax or neck that helps gives the mantis its distinctive appearance. The prothorax is also quite flexible, turning and bending easily which aids in its locating and seizing of prey. Two long, "raptorial" front legs that are adapted to seize and hold prey. These legs have three parts: 1. The lower part of the legs or tibia have sharp spines to firmly grasp prey 2. These spines "fold-up" into matching grooves in the upper femur, creating a "jackknife" effect that allows the insect to assume its distinctive "praying" position. 3. Finally, the upper coxa functions like a shoulder to connect the femur and tibia to the mantid's body. 4. Four other long, thin legs designed for climbing and movement. These legs regenerate if broken or lost, but only during
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