National Geographic : 1957 May
Bizarre Mantis Stalks Across Granite on Elk Mountain The insect's abdomen is heavy with eggs. These she will lay in a frothy mass that hardens into a chambered case. Color and pattern camouflage the insect to resemble the lichen-incrusted rock. East ern members of the same species, Stagmo mantis carolina, frequently wear green to blend with the prevailing vegetation. Ancient Greeks attributed supernatural powers to the insect, which they called mantis, meaning prophet. Seers predicted the future according to its movements. The forelegs' prayerful attitude gives the praying mantis its name. Far from en gaging in prayer, it is a rapacious hunter of other insects. After mating, the female usually kills the male and eats him. Powerful front legs armed with cruel spines make the insect a formidable hunter. +This mantis cleans her legs after a meal. Her head can revolve in an are as wide as a man's; her two large eyes, made up of hundreds of simple lenses, each produc ing a tiny part of the entire picture, com mand more than 300 degrees of vision. © National Geographic Society 684 , Millepede Scurries over Moss Many invertebrates survive droughts by remaining under moist rocks. Rain brought this one out. With more than six legs, it is not a true insect. If handled, it emits a pungent odor, but does no harm to man.