Blog 01 - Week 02
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Although the praying mantis is one of the most famous and admired insects on the planet, its presence remains largely in fiction, or religion. For example, the praying mantis is a religious symbol in China, and even has martial arts forms based off of its graceful yet deadly demeanour. But they are very hard to find and even harder to capture in real life, and so actual scientific documentation of the insect, and certainly specific species, is surprisingly limited.
Manual of praying mantis morphology, nomenclature, and practices (Insecta, Mantodea)
The first few drawings, or diagrams, come from a very comprehensive scientific manual called the Manual of praying mantis morphology, nomenclature, and practices (Insecta, Mantodea). It has many contributors, but the primary author's name is Sydney K. Brannoch. Although this paper covers the more common species of mantis such as the European and Chinese mantis, as opposed to Litaneutria Minor, it has a plethora of information on how these insects function, from their saliva to their genitalia. It appears most of the drawings were done digitally.
Lost and Foundry
This second set of drawings surprisingly comes not from an article on praying mantises but one on trilobites. It highlights a biochemist from the University of Chicago named D. Allan Drummond who casts trilobite fossils with bronze. In the article it says Drummond is just fascinated with studying and learning the complex structures and machinery in arthropods, and that the praying mantis was his next subject of exploration. These drawings were done with pen and ink.
This image is not pulled from a text but from is just an image pulled from the the Smithsonian libraries. The drawings originally came from a Central-American Biology journal, but I was only able to source the image. It has many detailed and colored illustrations of a few different mantis and insect species in various positions.