Praying Mantises Hunt and Eat Fish, in a First
Known to take down animals as large as birds, mantises have now been spotted fishing for the first time outside captivity.
Animals as large as hummingbirds can fall prey to the quick, spiked front limbs of a praying mantis. Now, it appears that not even fish are safe from this hunter’s deadly embrace.
New observations published Thursday in the Journal of Orthoptera Research describe a wild praying mantis fishing for guppies, plucking the little fish from the water and eating them—something never reported before in mantises in a natural setting.
Given how mantis vision works, though, scientists were surprised the animals could even see into water well enough to catch fish. And the finding also suggests the animals may be capable of complex learning.
While you can readily find YouTube videos of mantises chowing down on aquarium feeder fish, these are