Foraging strategy of a mantid, Paratenodera angustipennis S.: Mechanisms of switching tactics between ambush and active search
Foraging strategies of a mantid, Paratenodera angustipennis de Saussure were investigated both in the laboratory and in the field to determine how mantids assess the profitability of their location, and based on it, how they switch their tactics. Although mantids are often considered to be ambush predators, nymphs and adult females changed their tactics from ambushing to active searching when they did not capture any prey for more than about 2 days (nymphs) and 3 days (adult females). Switching between the two tactics was such that the females and nymphs spent more searching effort in sites with higher prey density. As opposed to the females and nymphs, male mantids did not change their tactics according to their hunger level (in our definition, and the prey density in the hunting site. The males moved around more than twice as much as did the females. In the field, female mantids moved less frequently at higher female densities.
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