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Amber Inclusion/ Praying Mantis

Praying mantises (or praying mantids) are classified under Kindom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, Order Dictyoptera, Family Mantidae, Genus Stagomantis, and Species Carolina. There are about two thousand species of these carnivorous insects worldwide. Scientists believe these insects are related to cockroaches.

Mantid is Greek for prophet or soothsayer. They are called praying mantis (or praying mantid) because when they hold their font legs they look like they are praying.

Praying mantids have triangular-shaped heads. Large compound eyes that are used to sense the slightest movement (up to sixty feet away) are located on either side of the head. Their forewings are leathery and straight. They use their powerful jaws in eating their prey.

These carnivorous insects go through simple or incomplete metamorphosis. In this type of metamorphosis, an insect does not develop into the maggot or caterpillar stage. The young praying mantids will undergo numerous nymphal stages. In this stage, they look like miniature adults without wings.

Because of the eggs they carry, female praying mantids usually end where they are born because they are too fat to get any lift and fly. Their male counterparts, however, can fly in long distances. Before mating, the female praying mantids will emit a chemical which the male mantids follow.

The female mantids lay their eggs in stacks of foam after mating. This cluster of egg cases are called ootheca. An ootheca can generate up to three hundred young mantids, depending on the species. Using a seam resembling a zipper, the young mantids will crawl out of their eggs after a year. Upon emergence, the young mantids will eat their siblings (siblingcide) if there is no sufficient prey for them to eat. At times, the egg cases will be victims of parasitic wasps. These wasps introduce their own eggs at the side of the mantids eggs. The developing young wasps will then feed on the mantid larvae.

In order to survive, praying mantids need to camouflage. They need to blend with their surrounding to avoid being eaten by birds, their natural enemy.

Aside from their very sensitive eyes, these insects also possess ultrasound ears located at their metathoraxes (located at the thorax). Some species of the praying mantis possess a hollow chamber which, the scientists discovered, are able to detect the presence of bats. This enables them to change course during their flight upon hearing sound frequencies that identifies bats.

A natural predator, praying mantis will usually seize their victims using their front legs that are raptorial. They eat using their mouthparts that resemble those of a grasshopper. The small size of their mandibles inhibits their eating style. They need to nibble and munch their victims (which are alive), similar to eating celery. The food sources of praying mantids include various insects and even hummingbirds.

The most common mantid in the Eastern United States is the Carolina mantid. Praying mantids were introduced about seventy-five years ago as natural predators for the pest population infesting the Northeastern United States.

Some interesting facts about the praying mantis

The Tenodera and Archimantis are biggest praying mantids recorded. They have a body length of six inches. Bolbee pygmae is the smallest praying mantis measuring only one centimeter.

Praying mantids can turn their heads from front to back (180 degrees). They can use this to look for predators over their shoulders. Praying mantids stay still and allow humans to stroke their back.

The sex of praying mantids can be determined based on the number of segments on their abdomens. Female praying mantids only have sex segments while the male praying mantids have eight. The male mantids' genitalia are not symmetrical.

A female praying mantid could eat its mate during mating. This only happens when their mate makes a wrong move or when the female mantid is very hungry. The female usually devours the head of its mate first. The headless mate will still continue mating the female mantid.

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Rare Partial Parts Of Praying Mantis And Beetle In Dominican Amber.
Rare Partial Parts Of Praying Mantis And Beetle In Dominican Amber.
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