Are praying mantis intelligent?

Answered by Frank Schwing

I have always been fascinated by praying mantises and their unique behavior. Having observed them closely, I must say that they display a certain level of intelligence. Now, when I say intelligence, I don’t mean it in the same way we think of human intelligence. But rather, they exhibit certain behaviors that suggest a level of cognitive ability.

One aspect of their intelligence is their ability to learn from negative experiences, also known as aversive learning. A recent study conducted on praying mantises showed that they are capable of avoiding prey that has been made artificially bitter. This means that they can associate the bitter taste with a negative experience and learn to avoid similar prey in the future.

This type of learning is quite impressive, as it requires the mantises to make a connection between the taste and the negative outcome. It shows that they have the ability to remember and associate different sensory cues.

In addition to aversive learning, praying mantises also display other intelligent behaviors. For example, they are skilled hunters and have remarkable camouflage abilities. They can blend into their surroundings, patiently waiting for their prey to come close before striking with lightning-fast speed. This requires a level of planning and strategy, as they need to choose the right moment to attack.

Furthermore, praying mantises have been observed to exhibit problem-solving skills. In certain situations, they have been known to use their environment to their advantage. For example, they may use sticks or leaves as tools to capture prey or create a shelter.

While they may not have the same level of intelligence as humans or some other animals, praying mantises certainly possess a unique set of skills and behaviors that can be considered intelligent. They are able to learn, adapt, and strategize in order to survive and thrive in their environment.

Praying mantises demonstrate a certain level of intelligence through their ability to learn from negative experiences, their hunting skills, and problem-solving abilities. While they may not possess the same cognitive abilities as humans, they are certainly fascinating creatures that display intelligent behaviors in their own right.