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
8 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!

Hazy Egg
Community Member
8 months ago

It looks more like an art piece than an actual animal

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Raine Soo
Community Member
8 months ago

This is the fanciest mantis I have ever seen.

Patty Stier
Community Member
8 months ago

Love the lemon, lime and orange stripes with raspberry eyes!

Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
8 months ago

Wow, what a stunning creature! It's wings are gorgeous and could rival any butterfly.

MantisGirl13
Community Member
8 months ago

Spiny flower mantis, Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii. Native to Africa. They reach about 2 inches long.

bjmantis
Community Member
8 months ago

Why did that flower just bite me? ;)

Colin Mochrie At Its Finest
Community Member
8 months ago

Looks like a drag queen saying "fabulous" love it.

Arturo García
Community Member
8 months ago

I am so atheist that the praying mantis in my garden are all of the agnostic...

Weim Central
Community Member
8 months ago

My only question is what background is this insect supposed to blend into?

Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
8 months ago

I had to look this little guy up on Google and supposedly it is a spiny flower mantis and some people keep them as pets. I wonder if its unique colouring help it blend if with the orchids/flowers in its natural habitat. There is an entire species of mantis called "flower mantis" that mimic flowers. I wonder if the eye-spots on its wings may also help confuse potential predators. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/12/orchid-mantises-evolution-insects/

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Juliette
Community Member
7 months ago

truly beautiful

June Galloway
Community Member
7 months ago

the miracle of nature never cases to amaze.

Gina Pruia
Community Member
7 months ago

Amazing insect

katboxjanitor
Community Member
8 months ago

Glorious!

AMANDA SERRANO-MORALES
Community Member
8 months ago

is that a butterfly😂

Mya Lugar
Community Member
8 months ago

This took my breath away...good bye cruel wor

ArhomR
Community Member
8 months ago

Fashionista of bugs!

Imogen Briffa-Cochrane
Community Member
8 months ago

wow

Patty Leaton
Community Member
8 months ago

new pose

Zahid Hussain
Community Member
8 months ago

My interest is wildlife beautiful flowers much more

Mare Freed
Community Member
8 months ago

It's candy. I want to eat it.

Cindy Burrell
Community Member
8 months ago

Beautiful

Susan Miller
Community Member
8 months ago

Quite outstanding!

Meg Klampfer
Community Member
8 months ago

What a clown!

Lynn Verbelun
Community Member
8 months ago

wow, what color

Ruth Beaty
Community Member
8 months ago

"Hi! My name is Princess Faloofa and now I may have to eat you!"

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
8 months ago

The different colors are beautiful.

Lisa Anne
Community Member
8 months ago

How beautiful.

Patricia Tornborg
Community Member
8 months ago

Something from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”?

Walter Brameld
Community Member
8 months ago

"Photographer captures amusing pics...." Yeah, right. These are probably staged. It's a known scam: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/whimsical-wildlife-photography-isnt-seems https://gizmodo.com/those-adorable-animal-pics-may-be-fake-and-cruel-1173395567

CR Harvey
Community Member
8 months ago

Those eyes, they seem to follow me...

MantisGirl13
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

It's an optical illusion. The same thing happens with the live mantids. The 'pupils' are actually called pseudopupils and they are basically a black dot in the middle of the eye that doesn't move but creates the illusion that it moves because of the shape and all of the facets of the eye.

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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.

#2

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Gerrit
Community Member
8 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
8 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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jevais
Community Member
8 months ago

Carnival dancer.

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#5

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Manasvi Tupe
Community Member
8 months ago

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

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#6

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Tracey Tait
Community Member
8 months ago

Bro, do even lift?

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#7

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Mojones
Community Member
8 months ago

It's the cousin of a praying mantis. A preaching mantis.

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#8

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Char Char
Community Member
8 months ago

Oh, hey!

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#9

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Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
8 months ago

Strike up the music maestro!

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#10

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JessG
Community Member
8 months ago

Wow! This one is cool

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#11

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Chewie Baron
Community Member
8 months ago

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

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#12

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Andres Tejeda
Community Member
8 months ago

Ta Da!

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#13

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Mojones
Community Member
8 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
8 months ago

That's me on a beach bed!

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#15

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Patty Stier
Community Member
8 months ago

Gossiping with grace!

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#16

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Patty Stier
Community Member
8 months ago

Feeling a bit cramped today!

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#17

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Livvy-Rose Richards
Community Member
8 months ago

So PINK (◕ᴗ◕✿)

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#18

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Raine Soo
Community Member
8 months ago

This scene is straight out of a Tim Burton movie.

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#19

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Chris Creighton
Community Member
8 months ago

Who knows?

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#20

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jevais
Community Member
8 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

G. MAXWELL rounding up girls for Epstein.

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#21

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Raine Soo
Community Member
8 months ago

This one has wings similar to a butterfly's.

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#22

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Andres Tejeda
Community Member
8 months ago

Ah yes, look at my muscles.

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#23

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Maria Batsouri
Community Member
8 months ago

Saturday night fever!!!!

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#24

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Patty Stier
Community Member
8 months ago

Strutting the latest fashion wear.

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#25

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Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
8 months ago

nom nom nom

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#26

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A Bringhurst
Community Member
8 months ago

It was THIS big!

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#27

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Eric Lewis
Community Member
8 months ago

Wow. Just wow.

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#28

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Ryukei Panda
Community Member
8 months ago

I wonder if that the small one is a male or a young mantis.

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#29

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Colin Mochrie At Its Finest
Community Member
8 months ago

The ugly one of the group.

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#30

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CR Harvey
Community Member
8 months ago

A mossy one.

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