The female praying mantis after mating bites off her partner’s head. This is a widely known fact, on the topic of which a lot of memes, anecdotes and even performances have already been invented. Scientists managed to find out why the ladies act so incorrectly with their lovers, as well as to find males who have learned to avoid a deadly fate.
As a result of research by the State University of New York at Fredonia and the Australian Macquarie University, it was found that a female who bit her partner’s head after fertilization lays more eggs. So conceived by nature, and most males dutifully agree with their role as an innocent victim.
However, South African praying mantises (this is just one species out of 2000) have learned to deceive nature and have developed their own survival strategy. It can be called “The best defense is an attack.” Yes, these South African males are not gentlemen at all.
The journal Biology Letters published the results of observing 52 pairs of South African praying mantises. Immediately after mating, the male took a fighting position and struck first. If he was able to grab a female with his serrated front paws, then his chance of survival was 78%. For 100% success, the unfortunate lover needs to deliver a strong, but not fatal blow to the stomach. And he comes out alive and happy from this struggle.