An alien mantis found on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus

(ORDO NEWS) — Biologists first discovered on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus a species of praying mantis, which usually lives in the Far East – in China, Japan, and so on. Scientists believe that he got there in 2014 and in the future may spread throughout the Crimea, writes the press service of the Moscow State University. The research results were published by the scientific journal Annales de la Société entomologique de France.

“For Russia, for the first time, the drift has been described in such a thermophilic and generally exotic group for our country as praying mantises. Praying mantises are invertebrate predators of the highest order in their ecosystems, and the invasion of even one alien species may threaten to displace native species of praying mantises and other, poorly predictable consequences “, – one of its authors, an entomologist from Moscow State University Evgeny Shcherbakov commented on the work.

While mastering the nature of the Earth, humanity often brings with it not only infrastructure but also new types of living organisms, which originally lived in completely different conditions. Scientists call such species invasive. Often they cause great harm to both the economy of a country and its inhabitants: for example, Sosnovsky’s hogweed, which does not heal for a long time, has penetrated from the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Transcaucasia into Central and Western Europe thanks to humans.

The Asian jumping mantis (Statilia maculata) is a new example of an invasive species in Russia. It usually lives in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Nepal, but biologists from Moscow State University and the Czech Agrotechnical University found it on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Scientists believe that he not only settled there but also expands its range.

The authors of the new work collected several of these praying mantises and examined their structure in detail. The researchers suggest that the clutches of this species of praying mantis were brought to the vicinity of Sochi along with ornamental plants in 2014. From there, the species spread along the coast and can subsequently colonize the Crimea, as well as make its way into the Mediterranean.

This is not the first case of a plant in Russia of dangerous invasive species. For example, earlier, due to the fact that boxwood firewood (Cydalima perspectives) entered the country along with the plants for landscaping Sochi, most of the relict boxwood forests were under threat of destruction.

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