Thursday, 20 March 2014

19 New Swift & Clever Praying Mantises Discovered

By Stephanie Pappas, Senior Writer | March 18, 2014 01:19pm ET

Swift, deadly hunters lurk in the trees, many camouflaged to look like lichen or bark. They don't sit and wait for prey; they actively pursue it. And when danger threatens, some even leap to the forest floor, fluttering to the ground like so many dead leaves.

That's the life of 19 new praying mantis species discovered in Central and South America. The findings, announced today (March 18) in the journal ZooKeys, suggest the world of praying mantis diversity is largely mysterious.

"Based on this study, we can predict that mantis groups with similar habitat specialization in Africa, Asia and Australia will also be far more diverse than what is currently known," study researcher Gavin Svenson, an invertebrate zoologist at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said in a statement.

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