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Mantis, unmerciful killers

You know,when I was just a child, I was a bit afraid of this insect. I’m not ashamed to admit, not at all.

For all those who never had the pleasure to face one of these killers I will try to explain why you might be afraid.
We are the dominant species on the planet and this is indisputable, many animals, especially small ones, fear us and at the slightest sign of our approach they escape.
Since I was a child this has always displeased me, but I think it’s right this way, try to imagine your reaction if you find yourself in front of a shaded African elephant 😉
I realize that the example is not the most appropriate and I do not even want to get away from my story
 
What happens with the mantis when by mistake or on purpose we approach them? They flee, they run away, no dear, absolutely not.
Often they continue to do what they were doing by not caring about your presence, especially the greatest praying mantis.
Although you are many times bigger than them they do not care
This causes a strange reaction in our mind, and sometimes, the unusual frightens us.
What do they have different from other insects that run away, are they poisonous to be so sure of themselves?
Legitimate but inappropriate question
There were many legends in the past concerning this wonderful predator, bearer of sickness, famine and misfortune … ahh come on!
Let’s get serious again.
No poison, no bad luck but pure and simple killer instinct.
 
Excellent eyesight, great strength and incredible qualities of camouflage (once, looking at a bush, I had a European dwarf mantis a few cm from my face and if insect didn’t move I would never seen it)
Mantids can be found in summer and autumn, camouflaged on brambles and bushes that attract other insects with their flowers or fruits.
The attack takes place in a flash, almost invisible to the human eye, capturing the unfortunate insect with raptorial forelegs and eating it alive.
The name, Praying mantis, comes from his habitual pose, that is, with the raptorial forelegs put together, as in a person who prays
 
Two words about sexual cannibalism.
It is not at all obvious that the female eats the male during or after the coupling
I have been able to observe this ritual sometimes, I have never seen this scene or better, the male has always gone … intact
 
Sometimes and if you are extremely lucky they can show a threat display, I can swear it is an unforgettable experience, unfortunately I never succeeded to photograph it well.
 
Some shots of mantids that I have found so far
Mantis religiosa (the Praying Mantis) mating
Mantis religiosa (the Praying Mantis) in habitat
Mantis religiosa (the Praying Mantis) adult male
Mantis religiosa (the Praying Mantis) SL
Mantis religiosa
Empusa pennata (the Conehead Mantis)
Ameles spallanzania (the European Dwarf Mantis)
Mantis religiosa (the Praying Mantis) Close-up