Mantis, Acontiothespis sp., Trinidad.

Mantis, Acontiothespis sp., Trinidad.

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Credit: GEORGE BERNARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A mantis, Acontiothespis sp., exhibiting aggressive mimicry. The insect's appearance provides camouflage as it lies in wait for prey. The mantis is a daytime hunter, with a voracious & indiscriminate appetite for insects, lizards, frogs and even small birds. In some countries (eg. USA) this aspect is exploited & the mantis bred for biological pest control. The creature is well known for its cannibalism; the female often feeds on her partner during mating. The mantis (meaning soothsayer or prophet) adopts its familiar praying stance when waiting to make a kill. The prehensile forelegs that effect this stance extend & retract rapidly in the act of grasping prey.

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Keywords: acontiothespis, acontiothespis sp., aggressive mimicry, animal, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, mantis, mimicry, nature, type, wildlife, zoology

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