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Most commonly known as the Praying Mantis order mantodeais a group of about 1800 carnivorous insects which prodominatleylive in tropical regions of the earth Though certain speciescan be found in locations with moderate climate With anextremely striking appearence mantids almost have human likequalities with the ability to hold an erect stance and armsthat face forward A very efficient killer mantids werecreated for hunting and killing preyOrder Mantodea is in the subclass Pterygota As with allclassifications there can be debates on where certain orders orspecies belong Historically there has been some confusion onwhether Mantodea deserves there own order Some experts haveplaced Mantodea in the dictyoptera order along with cock roachesRamel 1996 Jaques 1981 Phoenix Zoo Others say mantidsbelong in Orthoptera which consists of grasshoppers Expertssay this is due to their large pro notum Stokes 1983 Borrorand White 1970 The emerging consensus around the position ofMantodea believes Mantodea constitute their own independentMantids can be characterized by their triangular head andfiliform antennae This head has the ability to turn 180degrees With their prominate pair of compound eyes located on the sides of the head the mantis can almost see 360 degreesaround However the sharpest vision is located in the compoundeyes center for the mantis to optimaly see objects it mustturn its head so that the eye is facing the object These eyesare extremely sensitive to light changing from light green ortan in bright light to dark brown in the darkThe prothorax of the mantis is another aid in giving themtheir distintive appearence This prothorax has the ability tobend and twist which aids in the mantids ability to see closeThe two long raptorial front legs are adapted to seizeand hold prey The coxa connects the tibia which has sharpspines to firmly hold prey The femur has matching groves wherethe spine on the tibia fold into This creates a jack knifeeffect that allows the insect to assume its distinctive prayingThe other four legs of the mantis are designed forlocomotion These
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