Desert mantis photographed by Los_Cat
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 . 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 . Some species have an 'ear' on their thorax which allows them to detect bat calls .