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Female preying mantis fakes fertility to eat males: study

SYDNEY, Dec. 30 — New research has found that a hungry female preying mantis pretends to be fertile in order to lure a male mantis and then eat him.

Katherine Barry of Macquarie University in Sydney conducted a study on the most common variety of mantis in Australia, the Pseudomantis albofimbriata, or false garden mantis.

Barry fed a number of female mantises different diets, and the ones which were given less food would release a scent that would attract males, which they would then kill and eat.

Eating a male can improve body condition by about 33 percent and fecundity by about 40 percent, according to her study, which was published in Royal Society's journal Proceedings B this week.

"The Femme Fatale hypothesis suggests that female mantis may be selected to exploit conspecific males as prey if they benefit nutritionally from cannibalism," reported the study.

Even though the study was conducted on false garden mantis, Barry suggests that other species also show the same characteristics. (PNA/Xinhua)


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