I AM DANGEROUS!
Praying mantis spreads its grabbing legs and wings in order to scare away a possible predator. In this particular case: me…
I have an entire presentation entitled “Universal signals in Animal Kingdom – what we all recognize”.
This picture completely fits in. Mantis spreads wings to look bigger. Spreads grabbing legs, which use to have “eye spots” inside. Most of the praying mantis species have eye spots. At this particular specimen is not so intense, but she still using it.
Eyespots may be a form of mimicry in which a spot on the body of an animal resembles an eye of a different animal to deceive potential predator or prey species (Stevens, 2013). In this case to appear as a dangerous animal.
I use to test, how it works. I grow dozens of lavender bushes. Mantises occupied them as habitat, where the can hunt. I trained my kids not be afraid from praying mantises. So they feel comfortable to touch, even hold them. Even though, they do not even proceed, when mantis produces this complex warning signal. I never told them what it means…