I was reading with my daughter a young learners knowledge book when I came across the text below. There was a picture of a mantis in a plant catching a bug.
Look out, mantis about
Many mantids look like leaves. They keep very still, then shoot out their long front legs to grab a passing insect. A mantis has sharp jaws to slice up its prey and scoop out the soft insides.
My question is about the phrase "mantis about".
1- Is there an ellipsis here? and the phrase is in fact "mantis [is] about [to verb]"
2- If there was an ellipsis, what would the reason be? I mean is it because ellipses is a title? Or because the word "mantis" ends with "s" and so it is appropriate to drop "is" for vocal reasons? Or just for rhyming effects?
By the way I did a Google search and found this link by the same title. Is it a coincidence to have the same rhyming phrase or is it something people say, a fixed phrase or something?