View of a mantis (order Dictyoptera) on sunflower

View of a mantis (order Dictyoptera) on sunflower

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This image is part of the feature Flying Insects

Credit: DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mantis. View of an unidentified mantis (order Dictyoptera) awaiting prey on a yellow sunflower in a crop field. The mantis exhibits plant mimicry known as phytomimesis. The insect's appearance provides camouflage as it lies in wait for prey and also protects it from predators. The mantis is a daytime hunter, with an indiscriminate and voracious appetite for insects, lizards, frogs & even small birds. In some countries this aspect is exploited and the mantis bred for biological pest control. The creature is well known for its cannibalism; the female often feeds on her partner during mating.

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Keywords: aggressive mimicry, animal, crop field, dictyoptera, flower, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, leaf mimic, mantis, mimicry, nature, phytomimesis, predator, wildlife, zoology

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