The praying mantis (or simply mantis) is referring insects in the order Mantodea. These aggressive insects eat other insects such as aphids that some would consider pests. Some gardeners will actually purchase them to help keep harmful bugs off their plants. Wang Lang created a Chinese fighting style based around the mantis (Northern Praying Mantis). You may have never seen one but we know you’ll enjoy these interesting praying mantis facts.
Facts About the Praying Mantis:
- It was believed that the mantis had supernatural powers by early civilizations, such as Ancient Greece, Egypt, and Assyria.
- In some areas of the world mantises are kept as pets. They rank among the most commonly kept insect pet. Some people even claim you can tame them, teach them tricks, and feed them.
- The mantids typically seen in the U.S. are an exotic species. About 80 years ago a Chinese species was introduced to the northern part of the United States.
- Wondering how many different species exist ? Scientists have recorded more than 2,400 different species.
- Some have been recorded up to 6 inches long in the wild.
- No other insect known to man has the ability to turn their head 180 degrees like the praying mantis. It can be somewhat creepy to watch.
- Female praying mantids have been known to eat their partners alive after mating. When they do cannibalize their sec partners, she will start with the head first. Lucky for the males, it has only been observed about thirty percent of the time.
- Praying mantises have only one ear. Able to pick up sounds even humans can’t hear, the ear is located in the center of his or her chest.
- They’re able to change colors to blend in with the environment. Since they’re commonly found on trees, leaves, and grasses, you’ll see them ranging from dark green to brown.
- A praying mantis can see movement up to 60 feet away.