Gray fishing insect

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Gray fishing insect
Gray fishing insect (Ameles decolor), female

Gray fishing insect ( Ameles decolor ), female

Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Mantis (Mantodea)
Family : Mantidae
Subfamily : Amelinae
Genre : Ameles
Type : Gray fishing insect
Scientific name
Ameles decolor
( Charpentier , 1825)

The gray fishing insect ( Ameles decolor ) is a fishing insect from the Mantidae family . It has an unusual courtship behavior for catch horrors.



The gray catcher has a body length of 20 to 27 millimeters and is therefore a smaller representative of the catcher. The animals have a brown or gray, less often a green basic color. The eyes are conical , like those of the closely related lesser fishing insect. In contrast to the sister species, however, the abdomen is not curved upwards, but runs straight. The males have fully developed wings. The females, on the other hand, only have wing stubs. Thanks to their long legs, the animals are very agile and fast runners.


The gray fishing insect occurs in North Africa and almost all of the Mediterranean region, where it inhabits dry grasslands. It is also the only species of the genus in Greece . Its range ends in Slovakia to the north .

Way of life

The ground-dwelling gray catch insect usually lurks motionless in its habitat and prey on arthropods of the appropriate size. The adult animals can be found from spring to autumn.



The reproductive behavior of the gray fishing insect is unusual compared to that of other representatives of the order and so far little researched. If a male willing to mate has found a female, it performs a courtship behavior in which the muzzle is first lifted laterally from the body. First one arm is raised, then both. Then the abdomen is first tilted up and down and then rotated counterclockwise on the right side of the body. This behavior can vary. The male then jumps onto the female's back, starting with copulation. As with the closely related lesser fishing insect, the male is usually not eaten after or during mating.



  • Heiko Bellman: The new cosmos insect guide. Kosmos Naturführer, Kosmos (Franckh-Kosmos), 1st edition, 2010 ISBN 978-3-440-11924-2

Web links

Commons : Gray fishing insect  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual post

  1. Heiko Bellman: The new cosmos insect guide. Kosmos Naturführer, Kosmos (Franckh-Kosmos), 1st edition, 2010 ISBN 978-3-440-11924-2
  2. a b c d Article about the gray catcher on Link
  3. Article about the gray catcher on Link
  4. Article about the genus Ameles on Link
  5. Report on the reproductive herbalism of the small fishing insect on [29: MBOTMA 2.0.CO; 2.full PDF]