Praying mantis with its shed skin

Praying mantis with its shed skin

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Credit: DAVID AUBREY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Praying mantis (Family Mantidae) with its shed skin. The praying mantis is a carnivorous insect. It is known as a sit-and-wait predator, due to its method of remaining motionless and camouflaged until its prey is close enough to be caught. It then uses its powerful spiny front legs to grab and retain its prey. Praying mantises do not have a nymph stage. To grow they have to shed their skin (exoskeleton). They dangle off a leaf as the exoskeleton splits down the middle. In this stage they are vulnerable to predator attack, and for 3-6 hours afterwards their new skin will still not have hardened. They are found in tropical and warm temperate regions of the world.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, carnivore, carnivorous, entomology, exoskeleton, growing, growth, insect, insectivore, invertebrate, invertebrates, leaf, nature, new skin, one, praying mantis, predator, shed skin, shedding skin, single, vulnerable, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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