1. Predatory and defensive behaviours require multiple stages of decision-making in predatory insects, such as the praying mantis. 2. During predation, a praying mantis must decide where to ambush prey and which prey to fixate on, catch, and eat. The mantis also needs to decide how to track, approach, and catch prey, all the while controlling these actions depending on the visual features and position of the prey. For defence, a mantis must decide when to be defensive and which defensive response to initiate. 3. This review summarises the current knowledge of decision-making processes and the corresponding motor control in the mantis, remarking on the importance of considering the interaction between predatory and defensive systems. Current research suggests that the mantis is a good model for revealing the mechanisms behind an animal's selection of a certain behaviour from a broad repertoire.
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