Man ros

T I IK ORDER MANTODKA includes

_ 8 families and 2,000 species. The common name "praying mantis" is derived from the distinctive way in which the front legs are held up and together, as if in prayer.

Variable in shape, mantids have several clearly recognizable features: a triangular head with large, forward-facing eyes, and an elongated prothorax with the front pair of legs distinctively modified for catching live prey. Mantids are excellent hunters. The head is very mobile - these are the only insects that can turn their head to "look over their shoulder." The forward-pointing eyes give true binocular vision and allow distances to be calculated accurately, while the front legs can be used to pounce and seize prey very quickly -typically in less than a tenth of a second.

Mantids are mostly daytime fliers, eating a wide range of arthropods and even vertebrates such as frogs and lizards. Many avoid attacks by bats with the aid of a special ultrasonic ear on the underside of the thorax.

Metamorphosis is incomplete. The eggs are laid inside a papery or foamlike case, which is fixed to twigs or other surfaces. The females of some species guard this egg case from predators.

No. of species head has irregularly haped, lobelike ornament leaf like •—-expansions on abdominal segments

EMI'usa SPKCIKS arc typical of this family, with their distinctly leaflike expansions and markings.

slender antennae dull camouflage coloring leaflike pattern of wing veins

Order MANTODEA

Empusids

I hese insects are often large and slender in shape. Most cmpusid species have highly distinctive leaf- or lobelike expansions on the ends of the femora and at the sides of the abdomen. The front tibiae are distinctive in having long spines that alternate with two to four short ones. The head has a lobelike outgrowth, and the antennae appear plumed in males.

• LlEE CYCLE Typical of mantids, the eggs arc laid inside an egg case, and the first nymphs molt very soon after emerging.

• OCCl RRENCE Africa, parts of the Mediterranean region, and Asia. On flowers, foliage, and other vegetation.

• KEMARk As with all mantids, the size and activity of prey are carefully judged. Prey capable of fighting back are not attacked if they are more than half the size of the mantid.

leaf like •—-expansions on abdominal segments

EMI'usa SPKCIKS arc typical of this family, with their distinctly leaflike expansions and markings.

dull camouflage coloring

Family KMPUSIDAK

No. of species head has irregularly haped, lobelike ornament slender antennae leaflike pattern of wing veins

0rder Mantodka

Family | IymKNOPODIDAK

No. of species ^q

0 0

Post a comment