WATCH OUT, THERE’S A MAN­TIS ABOUT!

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Aquatic News -

sci­en­tists study­ing wildlife in Kar­nataka, south west In­dia, have ob­served a pray­ing man­tis catch­ing and eat­ing fish for the first time. The fa­mously preda­tory in­sect was al­ready known to feast on other in­sects, small birds, am­phib­ians, rep­tiles and mam­mals, but had never been seen to prey upon fish – un­til now.

The team spot­ted the 5cm-long male, thought to be Hiero­dula tenuiden­tata, the gi­ant Asian man­tis, strid­ing out among lily leaves in a roof gar­den pond and grab­bing its guppy vic­tims from just be­low the sur­face. It wasn’t a chance meal ei­ther, as the same man­tis re­turned for sev­eral nights in a row to do a bit more fish­ing.

As well as an­other rea­son for fish to be wary, it leads to fur­ther ques­tions about the cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties of in­sects and the eye­sight of man­tises.

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