18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Brutally Mating

Praying mantis courtship can be a dangerous affair. The females mantis have been well-documented biting off the heads and eating other body parts of the males that they mate with. The males also tend to mate with females that appear fatter and more well-fed than others, as the skinnier and hungrier mantises are more likely to eat their mates during or after mating. This could also point to the male praying mantises being more attracted to females that are healthier, for the betterment of their offspring.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2020
Date Uploaded: 07.2020
Photo Location: Pahang, Malaysia
Copyright: © Lam Soon Tak