The predatory limb of the Mantis religiosa

The predatory limb of the Mantis religiosa

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This image is part of the feature Natural Inventions

Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Macrophotograph of the predatory limb of the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa. It belongs to the order known as Dictyoptera which contains two groups of animals: the cockroaches and the mantids. The predatory limb of the praying mantis is formed by a femur (top) and a tibia and both are equipped with two rows of spines. In the resting position, femur and tibia are folded together and held close to the thorax in the praying posture. In one twentieth of a second they are opened and extended forward to catch a prey which is then firmly secured by the spines. (See H100/404 for the analogy with a penknife)

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Keywords: animal, dictyoptera, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, jointed legs, leg, mantis, mantis religiosa, nature, praying mantis, religiosa, wildlife, zoology

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