- "We should make some model egg sacks for the Science Fair. Who'd like to help me do that after school? I warn you, it's a delicate art, I'd have to work with you very closely, one on one..."
- ―The She-Mantis[src]
The She-Mantis, also known as Natalie French, was a sentient giant female praying mantis. She assumed the appearance of a beautiful woman to seduce young virgin men to reproduce and kill them.
After deciphering a pre-Germanic language, Ferris Carlyle learned of her existence, though he kept it secret until the She-Mantis murdered several boys in the Costwolds, England. Carlyle went after her, and though he was defeated, he somehow survived the encounter and went insane. Even his friend Rupert Giles, who knew of the existence of the paranormal, didn't believe his story about the She-Mantis.
In 1997, she stole the identity of a retired teacher, Natalie French, so she could assume the role of a substitute biology teacher in Sunnydale High School by killing Dr. Gregory, the former biology teacher. Her presence won the attention of the all the boys in her class and when asking if anybody would help her make model egg sacks for the school Science fair, all of their hands rose. She then had one-on-ones with each of the boys, the first being the eager Blayne Moll. However, the She-Mantis drugged him and locked him in her basement where she kept him in a cage and began forcibly mating with him.
She then targeted Xander Harris, inviting him to her home to work on the egg sacks as she claimed to have left them there. She gave him a spiked martini before dragging him in the cage along with Blayne. She then attempted to mate with him in her mantis form but was then killed when Buffy Summers came to the rescue and hacked her to death with a machete, following the advice of Carlyle (who Giles consulted after realizing they were dealing with the same creature that he'd faced). Xander then took the machete and used it to hack up the Mantis' eggs.
Powes and Abilities
The She-Mantis had the abilities of a real mantis which she could use in her human form. She could rotate her head 180 degrees and release pheromones to attract males, making them smitten by her very presense. The She-Mantis was also sensitive to bug spray and bat sonar. She mated at least once and was able to produce eggs most of which were destroyed except for a small clutch in a teacher's closet in her classroom, Science 109. Her stature was such that even a vampire, who mistook her for a regular woman, fled from her presence.
FeedingThe She-Mantis used her powerful mandibles to devour the heads clean off her human victim during mating, though the victim must be a virgin, presumably as her own preference. In her human form, she also ate live crickets which she placed inside a piece of bread.
Behind the Scenes
- She was portrayed by Musetta Vander.
- Her method of reproduction was extremely similar to the Sirens of Greek myth, Celtic sea maidens and similar temptresses of many ancient myths who welcomed their would be suitors with the most horrible forms of death, as researched by Ferris Carlyle who encountered one such beast though he was driven mad by the experience.