Here sub-adult mantises are placed into purposefully plastic and unnatural-looking environments. Trapped in these environments the mantises begin to search for a place within it which they can disguise themselves as a leaf, a twig, grass, or flower. They become restless as they explore and then become lost in the artificial space. Mimicry is a loss of identity, a diminution of the distinction between other and self. By forcing them into environments in which their mimicry is impossible their sense of self becomes acute. They become an individual and not just an insect automaton. They have left their natural world for another. When the mantises trapped in this too distinct definition of self finally mature to adulthood, they grow their wings. This gift flight allows them to seek the natural landscape in their world held aloft in a kind of Laputa.
“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”
― Robert E. Howard