Anatomically, the Black Mantis of Káto
varies little from standard praying mantis that are found on the surface. Their large triangular head has a beak-like snout and mandibles that are incredibly strong. Their two compound eyes
, three small simple eyes, and a pair of antennae allow the creature to detect fast movement and track its prey.
The two most significant variations are their coloration and their size. Black Mantis range in height from six to 8 feet tall and have a black exoskeleton once they reach adulthood. This allows them to blend into their surroundings and hunt larger creatures, including people that wander into their territory. Along with their mandibles, their spiked grasping forelegs serve as deadly weapons to hold their prey while being devoured.
Growth Rate & Stages
It is not uncommon to see glimpses of what seems to be a large praying mantis, often green in color, wandering through the shadows in Káto
. The Black Mantis begins life as little more than a standard praying mantis, roughly six to eight inches in height and a bright green. Over time and by gorging itself on large amounts of meat and flesh, the mantis will eventually grow to full size, and its exoskeleton will lose the bright colors of adolescence and be replaced by the deep black that allows them to hide in the darkness.
Dietary Needs & Habits
Insects are rare in Káto
, but it is even rarer to find an insect that requires the interesting diet that the Black Mantis do. These creatures are known to have similar dietary needs to Landsharks
and other carnivores. A single adult Black Mantis can consume as much as ten pounds of meat and flesh a day, making this creature one of the apex predators of Káto
Because of its dietary needs, it has been noted that Black Mantis are not picky in terms of where they acquire their food. People and all creatures in Káto
can be used as a food source as long as the mantis can trap and hold the creature with their forelegs.