Odd bump on praying mantis chest is actually world’s weirdest tongue

Certain mantis species, like Kongobatha diademata, flatten their bodies against leaves, a practice called leaf-planking

Ruth S (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Some mantises can taste leaves with a newly discovered sensory organ: a strange, bristly bump projecting from their chests.

This “gustifolium” is unlike anything seen in mantises or any other predatory insects, say the researchers who made the discovery. It may have evolved to aid certain mantises’ extremely specialised lifestyles.

Some praying mantis species found in Asia and Australia engage in “leaf-planking”, flattening their bodies against the underside of leaves as they cling, motionless.

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