Kingdom: Animalia; Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Insecta; Order: Mantodea; Family: Formicidae; Genus: Choeradodis; Species: Oecophylla valentinius.
Please note: this article deals primarily with the fertile female of the species as they really are all that counts, but also touches briefly on the sterile female or ‘worker’.
The fertile female Matisant (also known as ‘Queens’) are maneaters. Watch out boy she’ll chew you up. If you are a male Mantisant of course. And you breed with her. The perils of making love. Just stick to casual sex or ‘rooting’.
Elegant, airborne and with that aura of arrogance, dominance and fortitude required of a Queen, this insect is ruthless. Her primary focus each year is on getting a male companion with whom to breed. Treated like nothing other than a turkey baster filled with fertiliser for her eggs, the man is then devoured (unlike a turkey baster, unless an edible one is later invented (edible turkey baster™, ®)). A male Mantisant is not known to have consumed a female.
Another reason the Queen eats the male having mated is that she feels so comfortable in the relationship she can eat anything. This is another reason the female has grown to be signficantly bigger than the male over time – sometimes more than twice the size. This is particularly obvious in the posteria.
The worker Mantisant is sterile. She simply works day and night providing food for the colony. This is a clever specialisation as maternity leave would otherwise be a massive pump, milking the bosom of society and then requiring the baby be raised by a Mantisanto. It also prevents ugly, poor and uneducated Mantisants from dominating the colony.
Mantisant is in fact short for Praying Mantisant. The religious reference to praying is largely removed nowadays, much like the religious reference being removed from the day it worshipped and that originated from the Praying Mantisant, Saint Valentines Day (now commonly known as Valentines Day).
Equally the spelling ‘Preying’ is sometimes used due to the manner in which the fertile Mantisant will pursue, use and then munch on the male of the species.
The ability to turn the head up to 300 degrees enables a close eye to be kept on her male partner at all times, particularly when she is mounted so he cannot get away without being eaten. It also resembles the psychopathic/demon state depicted in ‘the Excocist’.
There is nothing romantic about being forced to do something and then getting your head bitten off when you do it.
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