Praying Mantis (Mantodea) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name - Praying Mantis

Scientific Name : Mantodea

Type : Insects

Diet : carnivores

Physical Characteristics:

Colour : green or brown but some are black or even pink.

Skin Type : Hard exoskeleton skin

Lifespan : 6 months to 1 year

Current Population : milions

Location : Worldwide(deserts, grasslands and meadowlands)

Number Of Species :  2400

Facts

Main Prey : small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, fish, and particularly small birds 

Habitat : warmer regions, particularly tropical and subtropical latitudes.

Favourite Food : flies, crickets, moths, caterpillars, locusts and some other insects.

Amazing Facts

  • Praying mantises are between 2/5 to 12 inches, depending on the type.
  • This bug has a triangular head with a big compound eye on either foot. Praying mantids are the only insects that turn from side to side in a complete 180-degree angle. Their eyes are alert to the slightest movement of up to 60 feet out.
  • The most common example of this is the infamous mating behaviour of the adult female, who often eats her partner only after, or even during, mating. Yet this action does not appear to dissuade males from reproduction.
  • A praying mantis is just as likely to kill a native bee that pollinates your plants as it is to eat a caterpillar pest.
  • The praying mantis has two big, compound eyes that function together to help decipher visual cues. Yet interestingly, the preying mantis has just one ear, situated on the underside of its belly, just ahead of its hind legs. This means that the mantis cannot discriminate either the direction of the sound or its pitch.
  • Praying mantises are supremely talented to disguise. They come in the shape of leaves and sticks and roots, like a lot of insects, but they sometimes take it a little further.
  • The earliest mantis fossils are about 140 million years old, from Siberia.
  • When specifically endangered, many mantis species stand tall and stretch their forelegs, their wings widening out. The fanning of the wings makes the mantis appear bigger and more aggressive, with some species reinforcing this effect with vivid colours and designs on their hindwings and inner surfaces of their front legs.

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