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Mantis Sex | by Anna Psalmond
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Mantis Sex

So as I’ve posted yesterday, I saw these mantises a couple of days ago hanging out in front of my front door. And yesterday I saw them mating. As I was shooting them, a friend of mine told me the story of mantis’ procreation and decapitation. Intrigued by the story, I waited to see what happen. I did a little research while waiting. I saw a video of African mantises going at it and then female decapitated the male during sex. First she ate his eyes followed by his whole head. It was pretty gross but I wanted to get a front row seat when it happens. 30 minutes went by and they didn’t move a millimeter. Based on the research I did the duration of their copulation could range from few minutes to few hours. I was so hungry. Couldn’t wait for few hours, I reluctantly went for brunch hoping they would still be there when I come back. I came home surprised to see them still in the same spot, same position. 15-30 mins after, the female turned her head toward the male. Their antennas moving rapidly. The male then made a dash immediately away from the female. Seconds later, he flew to the next bush. He just escaped death. I’m sorry to say I was a little disappointed. I was hoping to capture a cruel yet natural cycle of life. I hope that’s not too cruel for me to say.


Note: These mantises were actually upside down, but I rotated the image so you don't have to turn your head upside down. :)

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Taken on September 21, 2008