Daily mythology: Mantis


Mantides are predator-insects, they have forelegs that are greatly enlarged and adapted for catching and gripping prey; their upright posture, while remaining stationary with forearms folded, has led to the common name praying mantis. Females sometimes are eating up their mates after copulation, mantis is therefore imagined as a metaphor for the femme fatale.

The name has resemblance with the ancient prophet Manto, also with manteau or Mantua. Manto is imagined as the daughter of prophet Tiresias, Goethe in his “Faust” makes her appear in the “Klassische Walpurgisnacht”. In ancient cultures like the Greek or Egyptian the insect was considered to have supernatural powers. Aldous Huxley, M.C. Escher, Isabella Rossellini and others tell us about her.

Some of the robots in “Star Wars” seem to be shaped after Mantis.

Let’s not be like Mantis! Let’s not act as predators, let’s not eat up our mate!


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