WATCH OUT, THERE’S A MANTIS ABOUT!
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.