Mantid Physiology

The mantid are fittingly insectoid in appearance, with six limbs, four wings, three segments, and a generally buggy appearance. They vary in color from pale yellow to dark blue, and range in size from a couple feet to several times the height of a human. While they may look a bit plain on the surface, a closer examination will show that not only are they interesting, but they show a real knowledge of insect anatomy, and an appreciation for their unique charm.

The mantid are obviously based on real-world mantises. While the mantid are heavily stylized and anthropomorphized, they do share some unique traits. First, there is the head, which is large and triangular, with large compound eyes. While the mantid face is simplified, the overall design is clearly based on the common mantis. Another point is the elongated prothorax. If you haven't spent far too much time examining insect diagrams, that's the first section of the throax, where the first set of legs attach. It means that mantises and mantid both have one set of limbs positioned like human arms, while the other limbs and wings are positioned close to the abdomen, almost like a centaur. The wings are another area where the designers' entomological knowledge shows. Almost all official art of mantid depicts them with wings positioned around the shoulders, but in-game, the wings are located on the lower back, and lie on the abdomen when at rest. Exactly like the real-world bugs they are based on.

However, the mantid are just as much based on insects in general than mantises in particular. Two notable elements are the head and the feet. Almost all arthropods, with the exception of crustaceans, have limbs that end in one or two small claws. The mantid, too, have legs ending in two claws, though they are proportioned differently to reflect their larger size. But what I appreciate most of all is their buggy face. Insect mouthparts are incredibly variable, with some species having dozens of tiny parts while others have only a tube. Mantises have many small mouthparts surrounding a set of horizontal jaws. The mantid have heavily simplified the design, with horizontal jaws and a single set of mandibles. While it may not be accurate to mantises, it is accurate to many species of bugs, and shows an understanding of insect anatomy in general.

Because their physiology can be visually seen in game, there is another source of information for us: the models themselves. While these visual variations are never brought up in text, a keen-eyed player can note several differences between various models. Perhaps most obvious are the antenna; some curl inwards and some are straight. But they can also vary in length. I have documented 4 types of antenna, 3 types of forelimb, 3 or 4 types of armblade (depends on whether you count no blade as a variant), and 2 kinds of mandibles. Additionally, the eyes can have two variations, but Wowhead's modelviewer doesn't show the difference, so I don't have as much documentation on those.

Click here to return to the mantid index.

Click here to return to the Main Page.