How some mantis males manage to escape decapitation after sex

Some mantis males manage to save themselves from beheading by attacking females and injuring them before mating

He is about to end up run over, his mother saves him

Le mantidi are known for their sexual cannibalism extreme: after mating, in fact, the females decapitate the male and eat parts of his body.

Behind what appears to us as cruelty would be survival and improvement of the species. By feeding on the male, in fact, the females supply themselves with useful substances to be incorporated into the eggs and increase the chances of transmission of the male genes.

Females do not always attack males, but when this happens, males are unlikely to defend themselves and their fate is often sealed. Some mantis males, however, are not happy to sacrifice themselves and the cleverest have devised a system to escape death.

In a new study, a group of researchers has documented how some males of Miomantis caffra manage to mate and escape cannibalism using the attack as a defense tool.

To increase their chances of defense, males aggressively approach females by quickly flapping their wings and start a fight that lasts just over ten seconds. During combat, they inflict a serious but not fatal blow to the abdomen of the female, using the front legs, finely serrated.

The Royal Society

When the male first attacks the female, two times out of three succeeds in mating and in 78% of cases a escape unscathed after sex.

According to the researchers, males have developed such an aggressive attitude to be able to defend themselves from that even more ruthless of females, with the aim of replicating and surviving at the same time. Sometimes, however, the fight does not end well at all: the male can lose and be eaten, while in other cases during the fight the two specimens they kill each other.

Source of reference: The Royal Society

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