SCV Chinese School – Banner
San Diego Zoo – Generic – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Union Bank – Banner
AV Party Rental – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 2
Simply Taylored – Banner
Newhall Land – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
Disneyland – Diamond Celebration – Banner
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Banner
Facey – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
PizzaRev – Banner
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Banner
Newhall Land – 2015 – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
Beyond Harmony – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Banner
Santa Clarita Autosound – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
IHOP – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on May 24, 2015
Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: Top Gun Mantis

SCV Outdoor Report: Top Gun Mantis

By Wendy Langhans

According to ancient Greek mythology, Cyclops were giant monsters with one eye.  But I never heard of any one-eared monsters.  Until now.  Meet “Top Gun” Mantis.



Last Thursday, I wrote about my young friend Drew and the Praying Mantis he spotted in his back yard.  As I was researching Praying Mantids last week, I discovered a fascinating fact – “they’re the only animals known to have just one ear”.  And it’s located right in the middle of its chest (otherwise known as the mesothorax).  This Cyclopian ear is actually a deep slit, with an eardrum (tympanic membrane) on each side.  For a picture of the ear, click here.

Normally, we think two ears are better than one.  After all…

Q: Which monster has the best hearing?

A: The eeriest!

But a mantis ear is no ordinary ear.  Our human ears hear frequencies of 20 Hz – 20,000 kHz.  (1 Hertz is a the equivalent of 1 vibration per second.)  However, most Praying Mantid species hear at ultrasonic frequencies, some as high as 120 kHz.  Their ultrasonic ear is a lifesaver, since it allows the Praying Mantises to hear the approach of one of their fiercest predators, bats.

Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox.

Bats hunt using a technique known as echolocation, emitting sounds at ultrasonic frequencies ranging from 20 – 200 kHz.  When a Praying Mantis “hears” an approaching bat, it engages in defensive complex aerial manuvers, much like a “Top Gun” pilot.  “In response to bat vocalizations, mantises perform turns, turns with dives and power dives. Turns are elicited when the ultrasonic stimulus is weak, corresponding to a distant bat, and turns with dives are observed with stronger ultrasonic stimuli. Power dives, in which the mantis directs the thrust from its wings downward to add to gravitational acceleration, are elicited by more intense vocalizations, corresponding to a nearby, perhaps attacking bat.”

Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?



Upcoming Outdoor Events:

Saturday, October 16, 8-10 AM, Birding Hike at Towsley Canyon.  For directions and trail maps, click here.

Fridayday, October 22, 6:30-8:30 PM, Things that go bump in the night at Towsley Canyon.  Everything changes when the hunters become the hunted and the blind become the seeing. For directions and trail maps, click here.

Trail Maintenance Schedule.  Come join our volunteers as they help maintain our trails.  Contact Steve at for time and place.

Wednesday mornings, October 6, 13, 20, & 27.

Saturday mornings, October 9 & 23.



You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on “The Hike Report”, brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to

NEW!!!  Check out the new Facebook page  – L.A. Mountains!!!

SCV Outdoor Report: Top Gun Mantis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About KHTS AM 1220

Hugo Naturals – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – News Banner
All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Beyond Harmony – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
AV Party Rental – News Banner
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Tile
Simply Taylored – Tile
Action Family Counseling – Tile
Manzanillo Restaurant – Tile
Adage IT – Tile
Brent’s Carpet One – Tile