It is being reported that a “vicious” new kind of praying mantis has been discovered in Rwanda. Scientists ended up lucking out because they found both a male and a female, and the female was also pregnant. This allowed them to be able to study the brand new species even more closely while they were out in the field. The insect hunting researchers stated that the ones which are considered vicious are the wingless females because they hunt for prey just like tiny prowling tigers. Because of this the scientists are calling the new praying mantis species Dystacta tigrifrutex, or “tiger mantis.”
Riley Tedrow, who works as a biology student and is in charge of the research study, explains that the novel species is remarkable, due to the tiny female stalking through the undergrowth searching for prey, while the male flies around and appears to reside higher in the foliage.
Researchers discovered the species after one of the winged male became attracted to a light snare the scientists use to collect insects in order to study them. After accidentally catching a female from a leaf, the scientists received another lucky opportunity when she ended up laying an egg case. This let the researchers study both the adults and the nymphs in only one three week session out in the field. This is something which is extremely uncommon for insect science.
While examining the insects, they noticed that one feature with the male praying mantis was missing and that was its genitalia. This would have been a major help in labeling the species. However the part was gone due to ants eating the critical part as the male dried up in the Rwandan heat.
The scientists urged Rwandan conservation specialists to put the place where they found the insects under protection so as to not have the new species in any danger. There is a second outing planned for June in order to figure out the size of the tiger mantis habitat.
Dr. Gavin Svenson, who is also one of the research study leads, spoke about how the study had revealed the insect to the entire world. He stated that the tiger mantis most likely only resides up in the mountains of the Nyungwe national park in Rwandan.
Svenson is planning on returning in June on the follow up research study, wants to look for more tiger mantises and even for other new species. He added that the scarcity of the vicious little beast even adds more substantial justification for protecting the Rwandan mountainside. That way species like this will continue to live on and exist.
Repeating: It is being reported that a “vicious” new type of praying mantis has been discovered in Rwanda. Scientists ended up lucking out because they found both a male and a female, and the female was also pregnant. This allowed them to get even more understanding into the brand new species as they studied each one.
By Kimberly Ruble