Here’s the next one: fleshing out story ideas. I’m hoping to have one of these done every wednesday, even if I have to keep them short.
If you guys have your own suggestions, just toss them on the pile!
Just a pedantic note but the stigma of female mantises eating their mates is way less common than most people think.
It’s mostly agreed that the observed cases stemmed from captivity putting the females in an irregularly agitated state and or not being fed enough. It IS an actual phenomenon, but usually for the purpose of making sure the female is healthy enough to lay eggs and pass on the genes etc.
So likely if you ever consider dating a mantis woman you’ll probably be safe, as I’d imagine that whole practice would be phased out on the path to upright walking and full sapience.
If you wanna play it safe, just make sure to take her out for a really nice meal beforehand.
Haha, I love this! You’re absolutely right, as confirmed by mantidkingdom.com (which is actually a really good source for mantis-info.)
(Leaving more mantis info under the cutoff of ‘yall nerds are interested.)
Mantis females build a violent hunger immediately after, or even during, mating. It’s assumed that they aren’t trying to eat the mantis male specifically, but as it’s the nearest source of protein during sex, they serve just as well.
So I don’t doubt you’re right about agitation and irregular feedings, but it does happen outside of captivity.
2012 study in which it was found to happen in the wild.
The video at the end of this article has an adorable researcher who’s so excited about this stuff! I want to learn more about him.
There is also an incredible variety in recorded mantis species spanning over 2000 (as of this 2002 article) which notes that some species have more cannibalistic tendencies than others, skewing the numbers. “Although the praying mantis is known for its cannibalistic mating process in actuality it only occurs 5-31% of the time.” They then go on to mention plenty of cases in which mates would simply cuddle during copulation without consumption, and immediately follow this up with ”There is one species, however, the Mantis religiosa, in which it is necessary that the head be removed for the mating to take effect properly.”
But you’re right! I assume that this whole ritual could be phased out during the melding with human human culture. Why not just keep a whole chicken at the ready after sex if you NEED nutrients after copulation? Problem solved! End of story!
With with sapience, though, also comes culture. Just like there are humans who refuse to vaccinate, don’t use electricity, etc. Could there not also be mantis cultures that feel mate-consumption is a necessity? If it worked before, why change things now?
That’s actually the angle I’m going with for the human. Since this isn’t necessary in every mantis relationship, he actively WANTS to be eaten, maybe fetishizing the act. This makes it way more bizarre and upsetting if this is a solved problem he wants to indulge in. Everyone in his life wants desperately that he reconsider, and I think this is actually the core that got me: some people want, or feel they need, terrible things for themselves. We all have that self-destructive friend and we cant understand why they do half the things they do - but at a certain point, if they want something bad enough, you can sometimes be powerless to stop them. It’s out of your hands and that’s really sad to me.
Obviously I didn’t have time, or really the need, to post the entire mantis story layout, but maybe I should link the my mantis reference doc at some point! If you have any more mantis info: a book or documentary, I’m always hungry for that insect info! I love these conversations.
I also made it look really cute in this video when the boards so far are really a downer.