M A N T O D E A
Elegant and otherworldly in appearance, the praying mantis is a sight to behold! They boast incredible camouflage and are armed with brutal spiked raptorial forelegs for grasping prey. These are a few of the reasons Mantodea is one of my favourite orders of insects.
They make charming subjects for photography, at times they seem to be inquisitive and do not appear stressed by patient, gentle handling.
Mantids are not native to the British Isles, so to take photographs of them I had to acquire some from a reputable breeder. Previous experience working in zoological collections and being a hobbyist as a teenager meant that I was somewhat savvy to the husbandry of arthropods, though I did need to research species specific husbandry to ensure that they could thrive in ideal conditions.
Each of the mantids featured in the series come from a different part of the world and display variation in both their morphology (form and structure) and behaviour. These features have been sculpted by millions of years of evolution in a variety of environments each posing their own unique challenges.
With careful observation and a bit of imagination, it is possible to guess what kind of environment each mantis may thrive in…