Eat This, Not That: Why Mantids Eat Everything But the Gut of Some Caterpillar Prey

mantid with monarch caterpillar

By Leslie Mertz When a Chinese mantid (Tenodera sinensis) grabs a nice, plump monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus), it not only “bites into the fleshy bits” but also eventually gnaws deeply enough to rip through the lining of the gut, the contents of which are propelled out of the still-alive larva as it writhes, describes biologist […]

The Butterfly Changes its Spots — Eyespots, that is

Eyespots are one of nature’s favorite forms of misdirection, shared by fish, frogs, birds, and many insects. Aside from deflecting attack, they can also be used as a “startle” mechanism, being flashed just long enough to delay attack briefly and allow a species to escape. In addition, they can also be used for camouflage, providing […]