Decapitation, cannibalism… The appalling sex life of the praying mantis sends shivers down the spine

If there is an insect with very strange habits, it is undoubtedly the praying mantis which has a reputation as a real killer. And these personality traits are found even during mating.

The praying mantis is a common insect in our French countryside. More than a small green living being, it has forged a real reputation in the collective imagination. Her name has become a reference for female serial killers. It is also one of the rare insects to have had its notoriety in the cinema, as with the films Godzilla. But it is also, and above all, thanks to its unacademic way of reproducing that the praying mantis is known.

A unique insect

It presents no danger to humans. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 centimeters in females, this small insect is very quickly noticed by its unique shape. A small triangular head, long forearms and an imposing body. In popular culture, the youngest will have seen the source of inspiration that gave birth to the Scyther Pokémon. It owes its name to the way it poses, with its united membersas pointed out by our colleagues fromWest France. It presents no danger to humans and spends its time eating various prey (butterflies, flies, locusts).

A particular way of mating

But the most amazing thing about this insect is its way of reproducing. And, we must say, it is quite unique. In praying mantises, it is the females that are larger than the males, and this physical advantage often turns into cannibalism during lovemaking. During mating, the female sometimes does not hesitate to decapitate the male and simply devour him. As pointed out West Francele “nerve center is located in the lower abdomen“, so the seed can still be passed on. This form of cannibalism allows the female to fill up with energy before laying eggs.

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