The Love Life of a Praying Mantis Is an Unsettling Thing


Sure the she-mantis might eat her partner during courtship or mating, but it gets even weirder...

Let's face it, humans have complicated love lives and mating rituals that may seem strange to some – soap operas, Ferraris and stiletto heels come to mind – but we've got nothing on the praying mantis. While many a woman might choose to leave her mate, female praying mantises take it a step further. They very well might eat them. Sexual cannibalism isn't new in the animal world, but the praying mantis goes above and beyond in the macabre department. If a female mantis decapitates her mate mid-coitus, for instance, his body can continue in all the smooth moves required to complete the task at hand. Recommended mood music for a mantis date? Barry White mixed with some slasher flick theme music.

But since Mother Nature isn't randomly twisted, there's good reason for the mantis antics; all of which is explored in the latest Deep Look video created by KQED and PBS Digital Studios. Watch it below, and then thank the stars you're not not a hapless male mantis looking for love.