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"Those of you who volunteered to be injected with praying mantis DNA, I've got some good news and some bad news. Bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. Good news is we've got a much better test for you: fighting an army of mantis men. Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line on the floor. You'll know when the test starts."
Cave Johnson[src]

One of the first series of tests performed by Aperture Science Innovators, along with testing of the Aperture Science Portable Quantum Tunneling Device and Repulsion Gel, were tests of the effects of praying mantis DNA on the human body. The large number of resulting human-mantis hybrids (referred to by Cave Johnson as "mantis men") were themselves the subject of testing; namely, how long it would take to kill an army of them using rifles. Somewhat inhumanely, the mantis men were apparently required to kill each other during the test, thereby ridding Aperture of most, if not all, of them and preventing the problem of cleanup or compensation.

In a commercial for talking Cave Johnson portraits, known on YouTube as thinkgeek, Aperture security personnel were required to report immediately to the Mantis lab, where a recent level four breach had taken place.

In the Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC, one of the Cave Johnson lines is said by a Mantis version of him, saying the same announcement that the real one said but in reverse, telling the test subjects to fight an army of "Man-Mantises". In another line it is stated that the mantis-men have escaped, and they proceed to break through a barricade and cut off the transmission.


  • In PeTI, one of the alternate Caves is barricaded in his office after mantis men broke out of the mantis lab.
  • Erik Wolpaw was asked about the fate of the Mantis Men; he replied that the answer "would be too big of a spoiler [for Portal 3]," but suggested that some of them may still live in the facility.[1]
  • The Mantis Men make a physical appearance in the Portal 2 Adventure World of LEGO Dimensions. They resemble green humanoids with praying mantis heads. They all wear torn Aperture Science jumpsuits and undershirts identical to Chell's.

List of appearances

  • Portal 2 (First appearance) (Mentioned only)


  1. Portal 2: The Official Guide by Future Press
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