The short-winged bolivaria belongs to the mantis family, the mantis order. The famous naturalist Karl Linnaeus gave the name to the praying mantis "Mantis of Religiosa", which translated from Latin means "divine prophet".
The pose of the praying mantis, trapping its prey, is very similar to the position of a person reciting a prayer with raised hands. In addition to this similarity, there is another feature of praying mantises. During hunting and self-defense, insects shake their heads as if they are bowing. Perhaps that is why in some countries of Asia and Africa, praying mantises are considered "saints."
Bolivaria short-winged (Bolivaria brachyptera).
There is a sign that a person on whom a praying mantis accidentally sat will be happy, and folk signs advise people who have lost their way to take the praying mantis in their hands and walk in the direction of its feet. You will definitely find yourself on the threshold of your home. In Italy and South America, in connection with the unusual appearance of the praying mantis, the population developed completely different associations; it received the name "devil's horse" for the resemblance of its head to a horse.
External signs of a short-winged bolivaria
The short-winged bolivaria is an interesting representative of the praying mantis. Its body is slender, elongated, brownish-gray in color. The sizes of females are 4-5.3 cm, males are 3-4.5 cm.
Bolivarians live in the grass-wormwood deserts.
The lateral margins of the pronotum are serrated. The abdomen is short. The shortened elytra along the anterior margin are whitish, with a dark band in front of the apex and a dark ring in the middle, which is not always clearly visible. They are pointed and do not extend beyond the middle of the abdomen. The hind wings are smoky in color, with black or black-purple edging along the edge. At the hind tarsus, the first segment is longer than all the others combined.
The structure of the forelegs of praying mantises resembles a penknife. The barbed thigh serves as a blade, and the barbed thigh acts as a handle. While waiting for prey, the praying mantis hides the blades in the grooves on the thighs, but when it sees the victim, it throws them out with lightning speed, grabs and firmly presses the victim between the thigh and lower leg. There are cases when in this way large praying mantises hunted small frogs and lizards.
Wormwood bolivaria is included in the Red Book of Ukraine as a vulnerable species.
The spread of bolivaria
In Russia, a rare praying mantis is widespread in the steppe zone from the Ciscaucasia and the Volga region to the Irtysh river valley. It lives in Central and Asia Minor, in the Crimea, the Caucasus, in the Transcaucasus, Iran, Syria, in the east it reaches southwestern Mongolia, found on the island of Crete.
Habitats of the Bolivarium boptera
Bolivaria short-winged lives in steppes, semi-deserts, occurs on plants adapted to living in arid conditions, on the slopes of hills and foothills. Inhabits places in the steppe with sparse vegetation, inhabits along river terraces, on grass-wormwood desert areas, steppe gullies and floodplains. In the foothill areas it rises along rocky slopes to an altitude of more than 2000 m above sea level. In Central Asia, bolivaria is found in grass-wormwood biotopes, tugai, saltwort deserts and semi-deserts.
The short-winged bolivaria is the only species among the praying mantises, the habitat of which extends north to the steppes of Eurasia.
This type of insect is a typical predator that waits in ambush for its prey. The main food is representatives of the order Orthoptera, Diptera, living in the same places as the Bolivaria.
The predator feeds on locusts, grasshoppers, bedbugs, butterflies, flies. Having caught prey, the praying mantis thoroughly absorbs its prey. He shifts it from one front paw to another, examines, tilts his head and very slowly, without haste, chews. Too hard wings and legs spit out, having finished absorbing food, the praying mantis carefully wipes its jaws, cleans itself, folds its paws, pulling it to the chest, and again freezes in the pose of a praying villain.
Bolivarians feed on insects, which they consume immediately after capture.
The number of short-winged bolivaria
The abundance of the species is generally low; specimens of the short-winged bolivaria are found singularly. The state of populations in our country in protected areas is considered to be quite stable. Usually in one hour of examination one can find 1-3 bolivaria, sometimes more. Such a population density in general is characteristic of large predatory insects and does not at all indicate the plight of the species in its natural habitat. In a number of southern regions of our country, due to the reduction in sheep breeding, the natural population of the short-winged bolivaria was restored in large areas, where the destruction of the virgin steppe was previously observed in connection with increased grazing of sheep.
The short-winged bolivaria is a rather rare representative of the praying mantis.
Reasons for the decline in the number of Bolivaria
The main reason for the decrease in the number of short-winged bolivaria is the development of territories where the species habitats are located: meadows near the foothills, shiblyaki, steppe areas near settlements. In connection with the development of tourism, the recreational load on these landscapes is also increasing everywhere. In addition, in a number of regions, the area of melons is expanding, which leads to a reduction in the areas of virgin steppe suitable for the habitation of the Bolivaria. A certain threat to the existence of the species is posed by pesticides that get through the food chains to predatory insects. Burning vegetation harms eggs and larvae.
The protection of short-winged bolivaria is carried out in a number of reserves.
Protection of short-winged bolivaria
Bolivaria short-winged is included in Appendix 2 to the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Protected in a number of reserves together with other species. It is necessary to allocate small protected areas of the steppe to restore the abundance of the rare praying mantis. The recommended safeguards for Bolivaria are not yet urgent.
However, too intensive development of territories where unique plant communities have survived can lead to a rather rapid disappearance of the short-winged bolivaria. In addition, it is necessary to regulate the recreational loads in the habitats of the species.
While waiting for prey, the praying mantis hides the blades in the grooves on the thighs, but when it sees the victim, it throws them out with lightning speed, grabs and firmly presses the victim between the thigh and lower leg.
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Celebesky thrush is a species of birds from the family of thrush. The specific epithet was assigned in honor of the discoverer - German explorer Gerd Heinrich.
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