PETER MATULAVICH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MATULAVICH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chinese mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) spots northern walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata), a potential prey item, on plant. The mantis's large multi-faceted eyes enable it to detect motion better than most other insects, making it an outstanding hunter. The mantis hunts by detecting motion and, as long as the stick doesn't move, it is safe. The mantis soon loses interest and starts swaying, a typical mantis behavior that some think is meant to mimic the movement of a leaf in the wind. The Chinese mantis is the largest mantis species in North America and reaches a length of 10 cm. Indigenous to China, it was was first introduced to North America around 1895 as a source of pest control.
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