Back in 2013 on one of our previous trips to Thailand, we headed to the luscious island of Koh Phi Phi off the coast of Phuket.
It was here that we came across a mantis insect in full battle with a cat.
The scene did draw a lot of attention from tourists and even the locals who were intrigued by the sheer fearlessness of the Mantis.
I quickly started taking photos and in the 20 minutes that we stayed watching the event I must have taken at least 600 photos.
Here’s a selection of the best ones that made the cut.
Praying Mantis Vs Cat
The praying mantis comes from the order of Mantodea. The reason why it’s called “Praying” is due to the fact that it stands in a position that looks like it is praying.
There are many different forms of Praying Mantids, and they can be named after different areas of the world – depending on where they are commonly found.
Mantids vary in size according the the species. As an example, the Carolina Mantis will end up growing to about 2 inches long, while a Chinese Mantis maxes out around 5 inches.
Anatomy of a Praying Mantis
The Praying Mantis like all insects has a head, thorax and abdomen. It can rotate its head 360 degrees and has big eyes on either side of its head.
This provides the Mantis with the ability to see extremely well.
Two antennae on its head is used for navigational purposes which come in handy when you see how amble this insect moves.
It has 6 legs and when it’s fully grown it will develop wings and fly.
Interestingly, the back 4 legs are used mainly for walking, while the front 2 legs have sharp spines attached which help the insect to hold onto its prey.
They bite their prey on the back of the neck which quickly paralyses them, allowing the Mantis to eat them.
In order to make sure that their prey cannot get away, the Mantis eats the head first! Smart insects if you ask me!
The Mantis has the ability to change its colour and camouflage itself. The colour varies from dark brown to green and this allows it to blend in with grass, plant leaves or even the bark on a tree.
As well as hiding from its own predators, it can use this camouflage to sneak up on prey!
It lives off other animals and not plants – making it a carnivorous insect. I don’t think he/she was seriously intending to eat this cat however!
It lives off flies and crickets mainly, but it can also capture and eat small reptiles and birds from time to time.
The Mantis will live from Spring to fall, and the longest time they live for is usually one year.
Strangely enough, the female will often eat the male while the siblings will often eat each other!
Hope you enjoyed this photo set.
We only stayed for 20 minutes, but the cat showed no sign of doing anything but playing with the Mantis, and the Mantis certainly didn’t look like he/she was trying to escape!