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While hiking at the Wilderness Center in Wilmont,Ohio,I almost missed this little guy as he was blending in quite well.
There are about 1800 varieties of mantis world wide. Many, if not most of these live in warmer, subtropical climates, however the United States is home to about three of them.
Only one, the Carolina mantis is considered to be native to the United States, the others, including the European and Chinese arrived in the US via shipments of goods which had been brought here around the turn of the century, late 1800ís, or early 1900ís.
Generally, mantises protect themselves by camouflage and concealment. When bothered enough, like when a human pinches their abdomens and moves his hand around them with sudden movements, many mantis species will stand tall and spread their forelegs, with their wings fanning out wide. The fanning of the wings makes the mantis seem larger and more threatening, with some species having bright colors and patterns on their hind wings and inner surfaces of their front legs for this purpose. If harassment persists, a mantis may strike with its forelegs and attempt to pinch or bite. As part of the threat display, some species also may produce a hissing sound by expelling air from the abdominal spiracles. When flying at night, at least some mantises are able to detect the echolocation sounds produced by bats, and when the frequency begins to increase rapidly, indicating an approaching bat, they will stop flying horizontally and begin a descending spiral toward the safety of the ground, often preceded by an aerial loop or spin.
May 4th, 2013
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