Praying mantis Introduction
The Praying mantis is any insect of the order Mantodea. There are over over 2,400 species in about 430 genera in 30 families. The closest relatives of mantises are the termites and cockroaches. 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. By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long “neck,” or elongated thorax. Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them. Typically green or brown and well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, mantis lie in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.
Keywords to learn
Snaring: catch or trap (someone/something)
Camouflaged: Hide or disguise the presence of (a person, animal, or object) by means of camouflage
Hey Kids, my name is Pax the Praying mantis and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Key Praying mantis Data:
Scientific Name:Mantis religiosa.
Mass:4 – 5 grams.
Length:0.5 to 6 inches long.
Population Status:Least concern.
Current population trend:Unknown.
Sexual maturity:20 days after the adult molt.
The Praying mantis is ferocious predator even though it might be small to us, to some animals this is the apex of predator!
Now that you know more about the Praying mantis by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q& A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions on the Praying mantis here: Praying Mantis (answers are on this page)
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Praying mantis Fun Facts for Kids:
- # 1. Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of unwanted mantid attention.
- # 2. The insects will also eat others of their own kind.
- # 3. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behaviour of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behaviour seems not to deter males from reproduction.
- # 4. Big enough Praying mantises will sometimes attack hummingbirds.
- # 5. Many ancient cultures hold special beliefs about the Praying mantis.
- # 1. How many recognized species of Praying mantis are there?
- # 2. Who are the Praying mantises closest relatives?
- # 3. What’s the average lifespan of a Praying mantis?
- # 4. What are the typical colours of the Praying mantis?
- # 5. What are the common meals of the Praying mantis?