A Praying Mantis, or praying mantid, is the common name for an insect of the order Mantodea. This insect has a triangular-shaped head with a large compound eye on each side. Praying mantids are the only insect that turn from side to side in a full 180-degree angle. Their eyes are sensitive to the slightest movement up to 60 feet away. They have straight, leathery forewings and very powerful jaws used for devouring its prey. . This insect has a triangular-shaped head with a large compound eye on each side. These insects are notorious predators and their name is sometime mistakenly spelled ‘Preying Mantis’ which is incorrect. They are in fact named for the typical ‘prayer-like’ stance. There are approximately 2,000 mantid species worldwide. a praying mantis has a three segmented body, with a head, thorax and abdomen. The abdomen is elongated and covered by the wings in adults. Females have strong and large cerci (paired appendages on the rear-most segments). The first segment on their thorax, the prothorax, is elongated and from it arises the modified foreleg. The Praying Mantis has huge compound eyes mounted on a triangular head and have a large range of vision. They use sight for detecting movement of prey and swivel their heads to bring their prey into a binocular field of view. They have a fully articulated head and are able to rotate it 180 degrees as well as pivot it. Their antennae are used for smell. The primary predators of the praying mantis are frogs, bats, monkeys, larger birds, spiders and snakes. Praying mantids will also prey on each other, usually during the nymph stage and during mating and also when there is no other prey. When threatened, praying mantids stand tall and spread their forelegs to allow them to penetrate the target, with their wings fanning out wide and mouths open. The fanning of the wings is used to make the mantis seem larger and to scare the opponent. Some species have bright colours and patterns on their hind wings and inner surfaces of their front legs for this purpose. If harassment persists, the mantis will then strike with their forelegs and attempt to pinch, bite or slash its opponent. They also may make a hissing sound. Mantids do not develop wings until the final molt. Some mantids do not develop wings at all, or may have small flightless wings. The only time mantids fly is when the adult female begins to emit pheromones which attract males for mating. Male mantids fly at night, as they seem to be attracted to artificial lights.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.