How Smart Are Praying Mantis?

Many people consider praying mantis as one of the smartest insects on the planet, like cockroaches, ants, and honeybees, but these solitary insects mostly rely on their instincts.

How Smart Are Praying Mantis? Praying mantis are smart because they are adaptive hunters with impressive strikes, focused vision, a strategic approach for mating, and can identify familiar people. They make wise decisions while choosing mating partners and camouflage to avoid predators after detecting danger.

Praying mantis only interact or communicate with other mantises when they desire to mate; otherwise, they prefer to stay away from all other creatures.

Honeybees and ants are smarter than these insects because they have incredible communication. So, their intelligence level cannot beat other insects as they need fewer manipulations in activities.

They are intelligent, but not more than humans or honeybees, as their decisions are usually based on their natural brain processes and instincts rather than intelligence.

Adaptive hunters

Praying mantis are adaptive hunters are good at changing their attacking strategies depending on the type of prey and distance from the prey animal.

Moreover, they learn from their bad experiences if they miss a chance to capture prey due to a quick attack or poor landing. Accordingly, these scary insects can manipulate ways of attacking prey.

They have great patience and wait for their prey to come closer to make it easier for these tiny insects to land on their bodies with accuracy.

In addition, they make smart decisions for accessing food and visit the locations frequently where they find insects or other prey animals.

They are smart enough to reach old areas for hunting purposes while looking for food if they do not find a potential source of nutrients in their habitat.

Impressive strikes on prey

Praying mantis are apex predators that can detect prey animals in their surroundings and attack ferociously to reduce the risk of losing their prey.

They are intelligent hunters and kill their prey successfully in the majority of their attempts, but it requires great attention, focus, and intelligence to capture prey with precise landings.

Their deadly strikes do not give any chance for prey to escape and run from the death spot. They land on the prey animal in a blink of an eye, providing no opportunity for retaliation.

It feels like lightning speed to prey because they cannot see this predating insect approaching them. It is considered a smart predator because it quickly strikes and grabs the prey’s body tightly.

Focused vision on objects

Praying mantis brain contains only a million neurons at maximum, while the human brain is more advanced and complex, having more than 80 million neurons to coordinate activities.

Moreover, their decisions are not dependent on analytical reasoning, or their behaviors do not relate to thoughtful actions because they possess simpler brains.

Accordingly, they cannot beat humans in smartness or intelligence, but their 3-D vision or stereopsis makes them intelligent to some extent.

This vision power allows them to maintain focus on the objects and keep an eye on the movements in the surrounding areas to remain alert. This alertness makes them deadly predators.

They have to maintain a good focus on the prey when they are moving around and attack quickly after seeing them at a close distance because any delay can lead to failure in hunting.

Respond to danger or threats

You can consider them smart creatures by assessing their response to threats, as they can detect danger from a distance of several feet and prepare themselves for an appropriate response.

Praying mantis cannot hear but feel vibrations on the ground surface and see incoming predators. They attack predators ferociously when they try to engulf or break their soft bodies.

Moreover, they attain a praying position by bending their forelegs and jumping prey bodies to devour them if possible. However, they can quickly jump away if they assess that the predator is powerful.

They are masters of camouflage and make longer jumps to hide or blend with an environment. These appear green or brown, so they can quickly get mixed with leaves and branches.

It becomes challenging for predators to find them when they blend with their environment smartly and get out of sight.

Wisely choose mating partners

They are wise in choosing their partners for mating as both males and females can eat their partners during mating when they are hungry.

Most commonly, the females choose a healthy father for their babies and reject weak or unhealthy partners. A weak partner cannot provide enough nutrients to the females to help in egg production.

In the same way, males choose fatter mates because their swollen abdomens indicate that there are chances of surviving after mating because she is not feeling hungry.

Sexual cannibalism is common among praying mantis, so they have to be innovative while approaching their partner, as it can be a death plot for one of them.

Kill larger and deadly preys

The praying mantis is intelligent and dares to deal with the bigger prey as it takes smart moves to increase the success rate.

It seems a deadly strike when these insects land on the poisonous snakes and scorpions, but they can devour these poisonous creatures with their agile and skillful attacks.

Using long raptorial forelegs, they can kill smaller snakes and scorpions by keeping their stinging organs and venomous mouths away from their bodies.

Moreover, they begin to devour their bodies from their head, which makes some sense, as their prey cannot survive after being decapitated. Accordingly, it becomes easy for a mantis to eat them.

Strategic approach for mating

Female praying mantis are bigger than males and decapitate their partners during mating to get nutrition. The males look for a fat or non-aggressive female to mate with as it improves their survival rate.

Moreover, the males have to mount strategically to avoid her attacks and grab bodies perfectly so the female partner cannot bite their heads.

Accordingly, these try to become smart and mount unexpectedly, grabbing their bodies with raptorial forelegs before mating.

It is observed that their chances of survival increase up to 75% this way.

In addition, you can estimate their smartness from mating approaches as they attack from the backside for a successful mating when the females are looking in another direction.

Identify familiar people

The nymphs and adult praying mantis can identify familiar faces as their sense of vision allows them to respond differently or aggressively towards an unfamiliar person.

Their stereoscopic vision and simpler brains allow them to see and identify the person in front of them, as they show affection after recognizing their owners.

Moreover, their eyes can only support the vision of blue and green colors, making them blind to red color or other shades. So, visual clues can help them modulate their behaviors.

Good at faking fertility

Female praying mantis are clever because they are good at faking fertility to attract males when she feel hungry or lack energy.

Attracting mating partners can be a trick when she does not want to mate but eat them. She is smart and grabs the attention of male mantis with chemical secretions or pheromones to make them come.

The poor males come close with a desire to mate with the females but are decapitated by her after reaching their bodies. So, it can be smartness or natural instincts to make arrangements for food.

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