Alien Insect: Praying Mantis

Alien Insect: Praying Mantis

2006, Nature  -   45 Comments
7.65
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Ratings: 7.65/10 from 23 users.

Alien Insect: Praying MantisThe film enters the world of a real-life alien: the praying mantis. This macro documentary shows the life cycle and behavior of the most formidable and rarest representatives of the mantis family, including several that have never been filmed before.

World-wide, there exist some 2,200 species of this bizarre insect family, most of them in the subtropical and tropical zones, a few in the temperate zones of the Old an the New World.

Wherever they live and whatever their size, they share one gruesome feature: Every mantis is a perfect killing machine, a living steel trap. Anything but prayerful, mantises prey on everything that moves and can be overwhelmed.

Praying mantis get their name from the appearance of their front legs, which they hold in a prayerlike manner.

There are many species of mantises worldwide. One species in Sri Lanka may reach 10 inches in length, and like other large species from South America, these large mantises may prey on insects, small birds and reptiles.

Though mantises have wings, they do not migrate. They fly more at night, which makes them more susceptible to predation by bats. Females lay their egg cases in the autumn, and one generation of mantises develops each season.

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GunnarInLA
GunnarInLA
4 years ago

...only 7.67 (at this moment)..? I was prepared to perhaps give it a ten...this is a fabulous documentary – I will give it 9...This is a must watch (for people sufficiently interested)

Epicurean_Logic
Epicurean_Logic
11 years ago

If only I had evolved from a mantis ancestor. I could eat my girlfriends head when she became a pain in the back side and she would continue to have sex with me for another 15 minutes or so. Cr.ap it is the other way around... she would eat my head and my penis would continue to work.

B.itch!

Epicurean_Logic
Epicurean_Logic
11 years ago

Coolest insect ever. They even keep your cannabis plant free from parasites.

MoolaMails
MoolaMails
11 years ago

I love these types of movies, I even got my 2 year old daughter to watch it with me, she liked it as well. Mantises are sure tough creatures, I got startled with one that was on me recently and stepped on it, the thing was still alive, I felt bad and had to put it out of it's misery but wish that I didn't get startled and gently let it go.

Ray Kehoe
Ray Kehoe
11 years ago

hahahaha i find them fasenateing felt sorry for the bird doe

ruffkutt
ruffkutt
11 years ago

There is a metaphorical parallel between mantis mating and human mating. Just ask any married man :-))

Marianne Mills
Marianne Mills
11 years ago

The dubbed eating noises are annoying, so (for me) is the overly dramatic VO and the fact that so many scenes were 'never seen before', the reason for that, I assume is that never before has a documentary team deliberately placed a PM (and a handful of corn I would think) right beside a chicken, put a (probably captive bred) snake in the path of a PM or handed a PM a humming bird to eat. Needless waste of life and totally staged.

Scott Whitaker
Scott Whitaker
11 years ago

What a great documentary film. It had to be very difficult to capture some of this footage. Bravo!

P.M. Rangarajan
P.M. Rangarajan
11 years ago

Well I remember an incident with Praying Mantis in Anamalais in South India. We were on a trek and and came across a really large PM sun bathing on a twig on the ground. A big yellow centipede came around the corner and PM raised its front legs in defiance. Despite its size, the centipede was stunned and trying to find an escape route. The face-off lasted nearly five minutes and Pm made a dash at the centipede, which scampered to safety. The front legs of the PM was blue in color with an extendable pouch like muscles splashed with many iridiscent colors. It was a wonderful sight. Thanks for the wonderful documentary. I relived my memory.

His Forever
His Forever
11 years ago

Well, that was interesting. I just absolutely hated seeing the humming birds get eaten by a praying mantis. I think I would have been very tempted to save them if I had been the camera man.

Yavanna
Yavanna
11 years ago

Short but sweet doc. If only all americana docs were this good.

Draw Vinette
Draw Vinette
12 years ago

Excellent photography! I really enjoyed this informative HD program on the Praying Mantis. I can only imagine the amount of time and effort required to capture these scenes. Well done!

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

This was great, I pulled faces all the way through. They're horrid! I need one on spiders now so I can hide behind the settee, haven't done that in years :/

Jack1952
Jack1952
12 years ago

The children with the mantis in the jar brought a wave of nostalgia. My brother and I and some of the neighbor kids used to stage praying mantis fights. We were 11 or 12 at the time. We spent a good part of the school break one summer searching the fields to replace the losers of those battles. It never occurred to us to try to feed it a field mouse though. Had we seen this doc back then I'm sure we would have tried to reward the champ with one. We were such rotten little kids.

A great documentary.

PaulGloor
PaulGloor
12 years ago

I used to find those foam casings all over the place where I grew up... Didn't know what the heck they were !

panthera
panthera
12 years ago

disgusting creatures.

Elise Perry
Elise Perry
12 years ago

The overdubbed eating noises were really distracting/annoying- but seeing one go after a snake was AWESOME!

Lee Sun
Lee Sun
12 years ago

I want one as a PET!

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

I'm not a bug man, never have been, but I must say, there's some spectacular footage here, sharp, vivid colors, and snapping little mandibles. With that latter in mind, I might also add: What some poor, hapless little fellows will go through, all for a piece of tail.

Winston Smith
Winston Smith
12 years ago

I love you!! -whomever it is that maintains this site...and puts all these great docs in one place. Im sure it's a lot of work. Thank you.

Anthony Pirtle
Anthony Pirtle
12 years ago

Alien Praying Mantis Mummies From Hell!

Aaylsworth
Aaylsworth
12 years ago

Gruesome and intriguing. The narration and transition of music when showing the humming birds being attacked was amusing. Good watch!