Average lifespan in the wild: 12 Months
Size: 0.5 to 6 in (1.2 to 15 cm) long
Did you know? Praying mantids’ excellent eyesight allows some to see movement up to 60 feet (18 meters) away.
The praying mantis is named for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. The larger group of these insects is more properly called the praying mantids.
Praying Mantis video.
What does a Praying Mantis look like?
The praying mantis is a skinny insect with long, curved legs in the front. The position of these legs make the mantis look like it is praying. Most, but not all, mantes (the plural of mantis) are green or brown but some are black or even pink! The mantis uses the colors to blend in with its surroundings to catch prey. Some are so well disguised that other bugs think they are flowers.
Where does the Praying Mantis live?
Mantes are found all around the world including North America and Europe. Many different types are found in Asia. Some common species of mantes were introduced to North America from Asia and Europe. Nearly 2,000 species live throughout the world. Most are found in places with warm temperatures. A mantis will often roost in something close to its own body color. Most mantes are green or brown and they perch in grasses, bushes and trees. However, some other species are brightly colored and depend on flowers for camouflage.
What does a Praying Mantis eat?
The mantis is a carnivorous ambush predator. Mantes eat other insects which they catch with their spiny front legs. The rows of spines act like hooks, so they can grab and hold their prey. There is almost no way to escape. The mantis' strong arms and hooked claws are a deadly trap. Their camouflage helps them stay hidden and they are so fast they can snag prey in the blink of an eye. Some species of mantes also eat lizards, spiders, other mantes, and even small birds and mice.
How does the Praying Mantis defend itself?
When the praying mantis needs to defend itself against predators, it will stand up tall, raise its large front legs, and open its wings to look as big as possible. It uses its front legs not only to catch prey but also to defend itself if necessary. It does this by standing up tall and making clicking noises to frighten its enemies. If that does not work the mantis either flies away quickly or it delivers a powerful punch with its hooked front leg. Although an angry mantis can be frightening, they are generally not aggressive to humans.
Praying Mantis images
Praying Mantis Wallpapers
Download free Praying Mantis wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Praying Mantis wallpaper 1
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Praying Mantis Coloring pages
Print free Praying Mantis coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.