Mantises are some of the weirdest looking animals on earth and they’re also one of the most dangerous and effective predators. They have managed to conquer almost every continent on earth they are everywhere. Mantises are a diverse order of insects with 2,400 species they come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and their closest relatives are the cockroaches and like their cousins, mantises are found all over the world.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 astonishing facts about Mantises.
1. Mantises have some of the best vision among all invertebrates. Their compound eyes are made of thousands of hexagonal photoreceptor clusters called ommatidia. Large species can have over 10,000 ommatidia. Each ommatidia creates a very tiny image like a pixel on a computer screen their brains then combine all the pixels to make up a full image.
2. The most iconic part of the mantas Anatomy is their folded four limbs they give the Mantis their common name praying mantis. The most common mantis species is also known as mantis religiosa, the religious mantis.
3. Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them. Being able to turn its head without moving the rest of its body is a key advantage for a mantis when hunting.
4. Mantis are also cannibalistic. Mantis eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this behavior is the mating process. When starved the adult female, sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during the course of their three-hour mating session.
5. Mantis are masters of camouflage. Thousands of mantises have evolved to look like objects in their environment. Some look like vegetation there are dead leaf mantises that look like natural debris the stick mantises look like twigs. Leaf mantises resemble fresh leaves, bark mantises blend in with the trees and ghost mantises look like a bouquet of collard greens.
6. The most beautiful mantises in the world are the flower mantises particularly the orchid mantis. These mantises look like orchid flowers and attract insects looking for a lick of pollen, this is called aggressive mimicry.
7. Mantises are known to be brave they can stand up to dogs and cats hundreds of times larger than them. They also target other arthropods like spiders, and sometimes even small vertebrate animals. Some mantises are known to prey on hummingbirds.
8. Brunner’s stick mantis is the only mantis species known to reproduce solely through parthenogenesis, there are no males. They’re independent mantises who don’t need males to reproduce. In fact, no males of that species have ever been found and they’re thought to reproduce asexually.
9. Praying mantis is the only insect that has stereo-vision. This means that the mantis can look at the same spot with both eyes, which lets it determine distances more accurately. But strangely, the praying mantis has just a single ear, located on the underside of its belly, just forward of its hind legs.
10. Some martial arts practices in China are adapted from the mantis. The southern praying mantis and the Northern praying mantis style of mutual art developed in China are adapted from the mantis. They are referred to as the northern and southern martial arts because of the regions in which they were developed.