Mantis

Article

July 6, 2022

Praying mantises, or praying mantises, (Mantodea) are a number of insects of the cockroach superorder with incomplete transformation. They have a characteristic appearance: in a calm state, they keep their front legs bent and pointing forward, as if praying, which is where their name comes from. The color and shape of the praying mantis body resemble parts of plants. All praying mantises are carnivores, usually ambushing small insects and arachnids, although larger species may also eat small vertebrates. About 2,400 species of praying mantises are known from small to large insects with an elongated body, which are mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical climate zones throughout the Earth, some species live in the temperate zone. Man has long observed praying mantises and attached sacred importance to them. In culture, praying mantises are known for sexual cannibalism, so they are often a symbol of a strong and aggressive woman. The unusual appearance of praying mantises is appreciated by hobbyists who keep them as pets, and also contributes to the depiction of these animals in art, stamps, coins, etc.

Description

External structure

Mantises have an elongated, relatively slender body. Body sizes vary greatly. It is a medium to large sized insect, with a body length of 12 to 130 mm. The head of the praying mantis is usually triangular due to the very large rounded or conical faceted eyes that protrude from the sides. Faceted eyes on the tops can have outgrowths that are not related to the visual function, because they are devoid of ommatidia, but perform the role of part of the general masking of the body. From the front of the head, between the compound eyes, there is a frontal shield (frontal sclerite), the shape of which is important in determining the species of praying mantis, as it often has protrusions, bumps, folds, etc. The head is not covered by the front back, it moves freely in all directions on a kind of "neck", which also gives the komasa the appearance of a "prayer". In addition to compound eyes, there are usually 3 simple eyes on the crown. On the surface of the head, various cuticular growths are often located, which give the komasa a strange and unusual appearance. Antennae, with a few exceptions, are almost always filamentous. Mouth apparatus of the gnawing type with powerful toothed mandibles. The mandibular palps are 5-segmented, the labial palps are folded