Friday, October 3, 2008

Life photo meme: Mantis diversity

Desert mantis photographed by Los_Cat

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Dictyoptera

Family: Mantidae

I thought I'd put up some pictures of wild mantises. There are some 2,000 species of mantis world wide. As they are often ambush predators, they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to match their preferred hunting grounds. Some of the mantises which hunt on flowers are truly amazing looking. These two mantises were photographed in different habitats, and you can definitely see the differences.

Mantises have pretty amazing eyesight. Their compound eyes have specialized regions with overlapping fields of view that allows them to track movement very well [1]. They have amazing flexibility in their necks, allowing them to rotate their heads. This head movement can also help them estimate distance to their prey [2]. Some species have an 'ear' on their thorax which allows them to detect bat calls [3].


Eric said...

Woa, that's cool. I wasn't aware of the ear on the thorax.

Hey Did you get a species confirmation and updates on your "babies"?

oliemadottie said...

this makes me think of zorak. and i laugh. Have a great day!

Brine Queen said...

The beetle's species name seems to be Asbolus verrocosus. If you check the pets section, you can see the lastest post about her.

She's laid a new batch of eggs, so I am monitering them. So far none have hatched, but it may take a while.

Brine Queen said...

Although I suspect that the speices name is actually spelled 'verrucosus', given that that is what appears in the literature...