I’ve always been fascinated by the praying mantis. I mean, I’ve felt I could relate to them, at least. Largely because they spend most of their days just sitting quietly, swaying back and forth. And hey, how could a creature that shows so such religious devotion be all bad? Well...
You probably already know that the praying mantis is one of those species in which the female eats the male soon after mating. But oddly, that pretty grim fact isn’t quite as factual as you might think.
Research has shown that female–male cannibalism actually only occurred in around 25% of praying mantis matings. (And the way my dating life is currently going, I’d happily take those odds.)
Even more interestingly, researchers at the University of Arkansas found that in around 1 in every 45 matings, it was actually the male that ate the female. So it’s nice to see the struggle for equal rights alive and well in the mantis kingdom.
“I survived mating and feel just fabulous!” (Pixabay)
The Arkansas research also found that in roughly another 2% cases, the female would consume the male’s head prior to mating. Did this stop the male carrying on though? It sure didn’t—like a trooper, he just kept on going, and was able to fertilise the eggs. A true inspiration to us all.