Gottesanbeterinnen fressen Kolibri-Gehirn aus Kolibri-Augenhölen

Gottesanbeterinnen sind tolle Insekten mit ihrem weirden Kopf und den seltsamen Armen und auch wenn The Deadly Mantis von 1957 ein eher mittelmäßiger B-Horror-Movie ist, so hat er doch ein Poster mit einer gigantischen Gottesanbeterin drauf, was ja für sich schonmal 1a Gottesanbeterinnen-Content darstellt. Und jetzt gibt's Gottesanbeterinnen nochmal in Doppelplusgut: Die Viecher greifen Vögel an (meistens Kolibris), die sich in Wasserspendern oder Zäunen verfangen, bohren ihre Killer-Arme durch die Augen junger Kolibris und fressen dann ihr Hirn.

Paper: Bird Predation By Praying Mantises: A Global Perspective

The modus operandi of the mantis seems to be to approach the bird, which is always hanging downwards, and then enter the cranial cavity via one of the eyes, feeding on the brain tissues. Although we have not seen the direct attack on the birds, we think that the mantis is most probably attacking the birds when they are still alive, rather than feeding on recently dead birds. We found several instances of the mantis feeding on the head of the bird, and on at least two occasions the mantis cut the head when it finished.

Discover-Mag: Praying Mantises Eat Bird Brains

Poor hummingbirds. The fragile, fleet-winged birds often don’t make it past their first year of life as they are tasty snacks for cats, large-mouth bass, snakes, lizards…you get the idea. Now, perhaps surprisingly, we can add praying mantises to that macabre list.

A new paper reviewing the avian death-literature finds that praying mantises are enthusiastic predators of the tiny birds, and they go about it in gory fashion, often burrowing in through the eye sockets to tear apart the birds’ brains. Included in a press release are a number of pictures, and the results aren’t pretty: