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Back off - this is my dinner! Praying mantis tucks into a lizard twice its size

Healthy appetite: A praying mantis begins tucking into a lizard it has just ambushed

This praying mantis might only be a few inches long, but it showed it has a monster appetite after taking on a lizard twice its size.

And clearly the reptile didn't have a prayer of surviving once it was in the clutches of the lethal insect.

The exclusively predatory mantis ambushes prey that stray too near and normally survives on a diet of other insects. However, they have been known to strike out at creatures much larger than itself, including birds and rodents.

Once it has its hapless victim in its spiked grasp, the mantis usually bites off the head of its prey before devouring it.

Blind spot: An mayfly takes a stroll, perhaps unaware that it is treading on the nose of of a hungry frog

The stunning images are the work of Dutch photographer Jim Hoffman, who focuses on wildlife subjects.

The Spain-based professional artist travels extensively around the world to capture the minute world of insects, which he claims is a fascinating topic too often marginalised.

'My inspiration is nature, especially smaller animals like insects and amphibians,' Mr Hoffman told the Daily Telegraph.

Check out my frog's brawn: This little amphibian appear to be flexing his muscles for the camera

'I like to show off the beauty of the little creatures in the world because it's a hidden world for most people.

'It takes me a long time to get the picture perfect. Most of the time it will take a lot of shots and perseverance, patience and also a slice of luck.'

Mr Hoffman's latest work also features images of frogs and grasshoppers striking unusual poses.

Concentration: A grasshopper appears to scratch its head while deep in thought

source: dailymail