|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Hello everybody :D It's been more than a year since I've posted here I had so many things going on that I didn't had much time to take photos. My girlfriend found this Mantis outside and she called me to come with my camera to take a picture of this beautiful insect in it's defensive position :).|
Because of the strategy used by the mantis for catching prey, they are usually found alone on the outer foliage of shrubs, waiting for another insect to pass within range of its leap. Although the O. novaezealandiae does possess two pairs of wings, it rarely flies more than a short distance. On the other hand a praying mantis is capable of running very quickly when provoked (Parkinson, 2001; Grant, 1999; Walker, 2002). Among the majority of mantis species a defensive position is commonly adopted whereby the forelegs are raised and sustained above the body. The same posture is uncommon in the New Zealand praying mantis. It is however argued by some that the spots on the femur only gain a blue colour for this defensive stance (Sharell, 1982).
One of the more interesting parts of praying mantis behavioural patterns is the method by which they catch and eat their prey. The mantis uses green camouflage to blend into the foliage. Here it sits allowing its body to be swayed back and forth by the wind. Raptorial forelegs (adapted for seizing prey) are held tightly against its chest, in the characteristic ‘praying’ stance, as the mantis waits for an insect to walk or fly by (Miller, 1984, Parkinson, 2001, Walker, 2002). When the moment comes, the mantis lunges out, throwing its long powerful forelegs out at the prey. The complete movement can take as little as one twentieth of a second and result is the prey item being held in the mantis’ vice-like grip, ready to be devoured (Walker, 2002, Crowe, 2002, Miller, 1984). Typically the insect will be eaten piece by piece with the legs, wings and some other parts often being discarded. Once the mantis has finished the meal it will use its jaws to methodically clean its forelegs. The praying manits then moves on to concentrate on trapping its next victim, forelegs held against its thorax (Sharell, 1982, Grant, 1999, Miller, 1984).
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