This Is Why Snakes Are Afraid of Mantises

Named for its prominent front legs that fold together in a gesture suggesting devotion, the praying mantis comes off as serene and soulful. You might think of them as docile things, moving about slowly, nibbling on orchids … but oh, how looks deceive. The truth is, mantises are ambush predators with lightning-fast moves.
While snakes are thought to take on many insects, sometimes mammals, nobody would have probably thought that they would be intimidated by someone one third of their size. Praying mantis can kill snakes. I will show why snakes are so afraid of mantises in this post !

Snakes and mantises

Mantis’ ability to hunt prey

1. Great Vision

Praying mantises possess stereo vision, and thanks to the placement of their eyes, they also have a wide field of vision. Each of their eyes has a fovea — a concentrated area of photoreceptor cells that lets them focus and track with acuity. And not only can mantises see in 3-D, but research has found their 3-D vision works differently.

2. Head Turners

Head Turners

Mantises are the only insects capable of turning their heads from side to side. Being able to turn its head without moving the rest of its body is a key advantage for a mantis when hunting, allowing for minimal movement as it sneaks up on prey.

3. Agile Like Cats

To the surprise of scientists filming them, mantises have been found to jump with extreme precision, contorting their body midair to land on a precarious and specific target.
Praying mantises wait to ambush or patiently stalk their prey, but once they’re ready to strike, they do so with lightning speed, attacking with those big front legs so quickly it’s hard to see with the naked eye. In addition, they have spikes on their legs to skewer and pin the victims into place.

4. Masters of Disguise

Masters of Disguise

Praying mantises are supremely gifted in camouflage. They come in the form of leaves and sticks and branches, like many insects, but also take it a bit further. Some mantises molt at the end of a dry season to become black, conveniently timing their transformation to coincide with the blackened landscape left by brush fires. The flower mantises are amazing — some wildly ornate, others looking so convincing that unsuspecting insects come to collect nectar from them … and become dinner.

5. Ambitious Predators

Ambitious Predators

Mantises don’t stop at eating insects. They also target other arthropods like spiders, and sometimes even small vertebrate animals. Some mantises are known to prey on birds frogs, lizards, even snakes

How Do Praying Mantises Eat Snakes?

How Do Praying Mantises Eat Snakes

First, praying mantis eats young snakes which are moving among plants. Secondly, since they (mantises) do not have any venom, they will use front mandibles to incapacitate snakes. While doing so mantises can sometimes start eating snakes’ flesh from its body while the snake is alive. That is to say, it’s not uncommon for a mantis to eat live prey.
A mantis will grab the snake’s mouth and keep it as far as possible. A snake will attempt to coil around mantis as much as possible but to no avail. Once praying mantis gets hold of a snake there’s no chance to escape. Once the snake is dead the mantis will begin eating it from the middle of its body.

Mantis will eat prey from snake head

They have the ability to camouflage in the plants and as the prey comes into their striking range, mantises will attack in no time. Mantids barely give any chance to their prey to notice any danger because they appear almost like plants. This is pretty much the same tactic mantis employs while killing just about any small animal like hummingbirds, geckos, or small rodents.
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Video resource: WATOP

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