Perhaps you might be ready for the most fascinating praying mantis facts for kids. The praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) is quite unique in its physical appearance in that it displays a prayer-like posture which resembles no other animal. In fact, it is quite similar to the human’s praying. But that is not the most striking feature of a praying mantis. One of its rare features is its triangular mobile head with unusually large eyes. The mantis is an invertebrate. European mantis is the original name of a praying mantis. Let us get down to the most interesting facts about praying mantis.
Praying Mantis Facts for Kids
It earns its name due to its front posture in which the mantis lifts its first pair of legs—almost resembling a praying attitude.
While praying mantis mostly displays green color they also show black, brown and yellow-colored appearance.
The overall body length of an adult female is about 7 – 9 cm while males averaging 6 – 7 cm in body length. Females are not only longer—they are also heavier than males.
Praying mantises possess compound as well as simple eyes which are attached to their head.
Where do praying mantises live? Praying mantis can be found all throughout the Asia, Africa, North America, Australia, and Southern Europe. In Germany, scientists have confirmed two stable populations of a mantis.
What do praying mantises eat? They are not only pure carnivores—praying mantises are ambush hunters. Praying mantises actively hunt their prey. They will feed on cockroaches, insects, moths, crickets, butterflies, and grasshoppers.
Female mantises are known to eat their mating partner soon after mating.
Praying mantis relies on its sight for hunting prey. Thanks to their flexible mobile heads which they’re able to swivel at 180 degrees to scan the surroundings. Without their head-movement the mantis would not be able to prey on flying or leaping insects. Praying mantis can also attack hummingbirds but only sometimes.
They will strike their prey with a lightning speed. Praying mantises often clean their first two legs soon after eating.
Males are thought to be quite active whereas females are pretty strong physically. Unlike mature females, mature males can only fly. Females can fly only when they are young but as they grow older they become flightless.
The breeding season occurs in September or October in which the female lays as many as 100 – 200 eggs. Females sometimes eat their mating partner after mating.
Praying Mantis Lifespan: The praying mantis can live as long as 1 year in the wild.
It is just about the size of a teacup.
The conservation status of a praying mantis is not yet defined.