'Fear Me!': Mantis Puts on Impressive Show With Its 'Startle Display'

A devil’s flower mantis was primed and ready to scare off any predators after being startled by its owner in a backyard in Lacey, Washington.

Bug enthusiast Cora Sharpe shared video of her pet mantis Matiri’s performance in 2018.

The mantis’s “deimatic display” is a defensive behavior meant to frighten any animals that might pose a threat.

Speaking to Storyful, Sharpe said there were no natural predators for the mantis in her backyard that day. Instead, Matiri was provoked by her finger.

It might look aggressive, but Sharpe says Matiri never bites, scratches, or stings.

She added, “These mantids are actually harmless and rarely bite … With regular handling, they can recognize their caretakers and become personable and tame just like Matiri!”

The devil’s flower mantis is native to central and east Africa.

Cora Sharpe regularly posts footage to social media featuring her collection of insects and reptiles. Credit: @Colubrids101 via Storyful