Image: Oliver Koemmerling
Imagine every time you made love to your partner you were dicing with imminent death. It might make you wary of having sex ever again (if you survived, that is!), yet male praying mantises can never be sure they will survive the sex act owing to their partners’ natural predatory instinct. Imagine this was part of our life cycle! Sexual cannibalism is a natural phenomenon whereby one organism (generally the female) eats the other (typically the male) before, during or right after sex. This amazing sequence of photographs shows a female praying mantis eating her lover – starting with this shot of Mrs Mantis munching on the male’s leg. Looks like a nice appetizer!