Interesting Facts About the Praying Mantis

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The most interesting fact about the praying mantis is that a female will occasionally eat a male to provide nutrition to their developing young. Discover how praying mantis legs are used to capture prey with information from an entomologist in this free video on the praying mantis life cycle.

Part of the Video Series: The Praying Mantis Life Cycle
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn, entomologist for twenty years. And we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. And we're talking about praying mantis and interesting facts about them. And one of the best known facts is the fact that the female sometimes feeds on the male. Hopefully in that scenario they've already mated and she'll do that on occasion if she's undernourished and then the male provides food and nutrition for the developing young. But that's not the norm. Typically they mate and part companies, part company both healthy. Some other interesting facts, the front legs are referred to as raptorial front legs. And they have spines in this region here. And so they use this to catch their prey. And one, another interesting aspect is that this is the only insect that can look over its shoulder. I can move my head a hundred and eighty degrees, but praying mantis can move almost three hundred and sixty degrees. So, they have large eyes, raptorial front feet and they actually have a singular ear on their thorax. And so, those are some of the more interesting aspects of praying mantises.

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