Wildlife photographer Pang Way shoots a lot from up close. Mostly, little critters that don't normally catch our attention and that are so small, we walk right past them without even noticing them.

A big and important part of Way's work is mantises or praying mantises like people like to call them. They got this name for their prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer.

But regardless of what you call them, these insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long "neck" or elongated thorax. Mantises can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan the area with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.

Typically green or brown and well camouflaged in their surroundings, mantises lie in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to spot with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.

Few photographers have portrayed just how stunning these little berserk fellas are. And Way is one of them. Continue scrolling and enjoy these fascinating pics.

More info: Instagram

#1

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A.M. Pierre
Community Member
3 months ago

I love learning about animals and nature, so it isn't often that I can say, "There's something I haven't seen before." That having been said... There's something I haven't seen before! And it's awesome!

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It's usually the moths, crickets, grasshoppers, and flies who receive unwanted mantid attention. However, these brutal insects will also eat others of their own kind. What really stands out is the mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. In their defense, however, this 'fetish' seems not to deter males from participating in reproduction.

I mean, maybe it's a sacrifice they make willingly. A 2016 study found that when female Chinese mantises consume their mates, they acquire important amino acids that are then incorporated into the eggs they lay, appearing to lay twice as many eggs after cannibalizing a male than they normally would.

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Gerrit
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like a scene from a Kung Fu movie.

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So while the male would probably like to live and mate with multiple females, at least his death is not in vain; his nutrients give his DNA an elevated chance of getting passed on to the next generation.

As for humans, we shouldn't be afraid of their saw-like arms and alien eyes; they pose no threat to those who aren't insects, geckos, or hummingbirds. 

#3

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Tracey Tait
Community Member
3 months ago

I know Crane style and will use a illegal kick to the face, watch yo'self!

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"I got into wildlife photography out of curiosity," Way told Bored Panda. "It's something I have been interested in since I was a child."

"Mantises are my favorite insects. For me, mantises are the perfect models for macro photography."

Way started taking photos of mantises in 2013. Now, he has photographed over 100 species of them and has vowed to continue looking for more.

The photographer said one needs both luck and skill to take a good mantis photo. However, Way welcomes the challenge. "Mantises may look aggressive but actually they are very gentle and they all look like a professional models."

#4

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MantisGirl13
Community Member
3 months ago

Rhombodera sp. Shield mantids are so neat!

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#5

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Manasvi Tupe
Community Member
3 months ago

When you merge mantis and a butterfly this is the result, and its beautiful!

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Andres Tejeda
Community Member
3 months ago

Are you guys ready? for the Gun show.

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#7

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Gerrit
Community Member
3 months ago

And some people still think aliens don't exist. They are already among us! :)

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Char Char
Community Member
3 months ago

Oh, hey!

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#9

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Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
3 months ago

Strike up the music maestro!

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#10

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 months ago

The face reminds me of the illustrated adverts for sea monkeys. I remember those back from when I was a kid.

Patricia Tornborg
Community Member
3 months ago

I bought sea monkeys too...when I was 20 years old! I was disappointed! The pix on the package made them look like real little people with shrimp faces! Ha!

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MantisGirl13
Community Member
3 months ago

Devil's Flower Mantis, Idolomantis diabolica. Native to Africa, adults reach 3-6 inches long.

Elak Swindell
Community Member
3 months ago

"Take me to your leader. We mean you no harm...maybe."

PhantomBuni
Community Member
3 months ago

The met gala for bugs

Sandy J Renfroe
Community Member
3 months ago

And... nailed the landing!

JessG
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow! This one is cool

Mya Lugar
Community Member
3 months ago

God...now you're just getting rediculous!!

Patty Leaton
Community Member
3 months ago

how do like them muscles

Cindy Burrell
Community Member
3 months ago

Nature is incredible

Susan Miller
Community Member
3 months ago

OK, I give up!

Salif C
Community Member
3 months ago

Like staring at an alien somehow.

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
3 months ago

From this angle, it does look like an alien.

Morgan Morgan
Community Member
3 months ago

Just amazing!

Patricia Tornborg
Community Member
3 months ago

Uhhhh......wow! Scary!

Frank Carr
Community Member
3 months ago

Now I believe in aliens

CR Harvey
Community Member
3 months ago

Fancy silk dress.

Luc Boisvert
Community Member
3 months ago

JUST FROM AN OTHER WORLD

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Chewie Baron
Community Member
3 months ago

"There's no business like showbuisiness..."

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Andres Tejeda
Community Member
3 months ago

Ta Da!

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#13

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Mojones
Community Member
3 months ago

Forward, onward, noble steed! After this, my head you'll eat.

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#14

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Gerrit
Community Member
3 months ago

That's me on a beach bed!

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#15

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 months ago

They're so pretty!

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#16

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MantisGirl13
Community Member
3 months ago

This is a subadult (juvenile) female of the same species as the first picture in this post, the spiny flower mantis.

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#17

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Livvy-Rose Richards
Community Member
3 months ago

So PINK (◕ᴗ◕✿)

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#18

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 months ago

This scene is straight out of a Tim Burton movie.

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#19

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 months ago

The bottom part of its wings(?) looks like a spider web.

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#20

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 months ago

The rise of the mantis!

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#21

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 months ago

This one has wings similar to a butterfly's.

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#22

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Andres Tejeda
Community Member
3 months ago

Ah yes, look at my muscles.

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#23

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Maria Batsouri
Community Member
3 months ago

Saturday night fever!!!!

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#24

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Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
3 months ago

Mimicry is the insect world is really amazing.

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#25

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Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
3 months ago

nom nom nom

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#26

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Spikey Bunny
Community Member
3 months ago

Gorgeous colors!

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#27

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Eric Lewis
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow. Just wow.

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#28

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Chewie Baron
Community Member
3 months ago

It won't be a juvenile mantis, as soon as they emerge from their eggs, they have to find somewhere safe immediately. If an adult mantis is nearby, including its mother, it'll be eaten if it is seen.

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#29

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CR Harvey
Community Member
3 months ago

Lichen looking, greens and browns are lovely.

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TinTin
Community Member
3 months ago

just woke up... hard night last night... where's my comb and toothbrush?

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Note: this post originally had 32 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.