This species of praying mantis is FUGLY with flair. All mantis species could fall under the FUGLY category, but this little guy takes it to a whole new level AND looks like he's ready for some ballroom dancing. Really freaky ballroom dancing.
This is the European dwarf mantis. In spite of the fugliness of those ungainly limbs, freaky mouth and eyes, and everything, the mantis is considered a beneficial bug and is used by famers and gardeners to deal with harmful insects. Millions are sold in the form of egg cases every year for use in organic pest control. The drawback here is that they will eat whatever insects they can capture, including other beneficial insects.
I've never gotten over the shock of finding one that had been in my pantry for who knows how long, living off a package of sandwich cream cookies. The fact that it could survive on cookies was fugly enough for me!
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger