We were going to do a post titled “10 Fun Facts About the Praying Mantis” until we came across Praying Mantis sex. If you have never found yourself fortunate enough to stumbling upon such pleasures, please be advised because it is very alarming.
I first got the idea to do this post when I came across the preying mantis above at the gas station. I immediately began playing with it and taking photos. They are so beautiful and unique!
Praying mantises wait to ambush or patiently stalk their prey; but once they’re ready to strike, they do so with lightning speed, attacking with those big front legs so quickly that it’s hard to see with the naked eye. In addition, they have spikes on their legs to skewer and pin the victims into place.
Mantises like their food still moving, apparently. Which makes them helpful in pest control as they sup on all kinds of insects, including crickets and grasshoppers.
Mama mantises lay an especially large bunch of eggs, which means they need a lot of food. Which means, unfortunately for their partners, they may literally bite off their head and devour them. And they may even do this during the course of their three-hour mating session.
Whether a male mantis actively sacrifices himself for the sake of his progeny or simply fails to dart away from the female in time remains a topic of active research.