Mantis species that look and work like a WASP to scare off predators are discovered in the Amazon
- Researchers from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History discovered a new species
- The mantis behaves like a wasp and was discovered near the Amazon in Peru
- It shows a bright red-orange coloring just like a wasp and also has the same body structure, irregular movements and even antennas
A new type of praying mantis that behaves unpredictably and moves like a wasp has been discovered near the Amazon in Peru.
Researchers at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History say the mantis, which was first seen in 2013, but only recently identified, is the first to imitate a wasp.
The discovery was made by invertebrate zoology curator, Dr. Gavin Svenson and former graduate student of Case Western Reserve University, Henrique Rodrigues, when they caught the insect in a light trap.
The bright color, the wasp-like shape and the unusual behavior immediately caught the team's attention – they now understand that these adjustments are meant to ward off predators.
The praying mantis, named Vespamantoida wherley, has a bright color and wasp-like shape that caught the attention of the team during a general entomological survey of the field site in the Amazon region
The praying mantis, called Vespamantoida wherleyi, is a bright red color, which makes it resemble certain species of tropical wasps – although not the most common type of Westerners.
It also has the same body structure, erratic movements and even antennas that are typically associated with most wasps, the scientists said.
This apparent style of imitation is a strategy in which a mostly harmless organism tries to look and behaves as a more threatening creature that tries to frighten its predators.
Praying mantis are eaten by animals such as frogs, bats, spiders and snakes, and this species may have evolved in a way that discourages those trying to enjoy it.
It shows a bright red-orange coloring just like a wasp and also has the same body structure, irregular movements
WHAT IS BATESIAN MIMICRY?
When a harmless organism mimics a harmful or dangerous organism get protection against predators.
The predators confuse it with the dangerous organism that it imitates and leave it alone.
This form of imitation is named after 19th-century English naturalist Henry Walter Bates for his work on butterflies in the rainforests of Brazil.
Bates acknowledged that some species of butterflies seemed superficially similar to others even though they were not related.
He suggested that the similarity was due to the anti-predator adaptation.
Dr. Svenson said: & # 39; Most species are differentiated and discovered within a laboratory or collection.
& # 39; It is incredibly exciting to have that rare eureka moment that you know you have found something new in the field. & # 39;
He said the obvious colors and erratic behavior is that the praying mantis itself is potentially dangerous to its predators.
He added: & # 39; If you are a species that can be easily prey, you advertise because you want predators to think that you are toxic, or can injure them, or a combination of unpleasant factors that tell the predator to think twice before chasing you. & # 39;
Most praying mantis choose to imitate a fairly easy character – a leaf or other vegetation – to capture.
Simulating wasp in adults is unique and limited to only one family, of which Vespamantoida is now a part.
As a new species, it will join another recently recognized species within a new genus called Vespamantoida.
Dr. Svenson believes that in the wild there are around 5,000 different species of wasps, twice the 2500 registered species of mantissas.
Most praying mantis choose to imitate a somewhat simpler character – a leaf or other vegetation. Simulating wasp in adults is unique
He added: “I think the most interesting thing about this family of mantises is that most adults mimic wasps, and that is quite unique for praying mantis.
& # 39; I think the following is natural to study the evolutionary biology of the gender.
& # 39; If wasp simulation is successful in this line, why has it not evolved in the other lines as well?
Waarom Why have no other species within the family evolved with brightly colored wasps simulation? We just don't know for sure. & # 39;
The results of the team's findings were published today in the online magazine PeerJ.
WHAT DO PRAYING MANTIES EAT?
Praying mantis are opportunistic hunters that eat a variety of insects.
They usually hunt spiders, larvae, crickets, butterflies and termites,
The predators are incredibly adaptable and like to change their diet to suit the available prey.
Occasionally, they have been observed to feed on vertebrate animals, including small birds, lizards, frogs, salamanders, mice, snakes, and turtles.
Little is known about their diet, because such records are usually anecdotal and have not been set by scientists.
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