The praying mantis is considered to be an exotic insect in North America. It has a very distinct look, and a rather unique behavior compared to other insects and animals.
It sometimes looks like it is praying, and to many, it can appear like a peaceful insect. However, that is far from the case. The praying mantis is a vicious predator that will eat just about anything!
Praying Mantis: Predator
The praying mantis is a predator, and it will eat just about anything it can get its hands on. It primarily eats insects because that is easiest to eat, however sometimes they will even eat animals!
The praying mantis has been known to attempt to eat birds, and there are several videos online revealing a praying mantis eating a mouse, frog, and other small animals!
Two powerful front arms can grab onto their prey and hold the prey tight so it can’t escape. It will pressure and hurt the prey, while the face of the praying mantis begins eating the victim alive!
The entire process is very gruesome- search on YouTube at your own risk.
While the praying mantis may appear peaceful and cute, it is a very deadly predator. However, it is not deadly to humans.
One crazy thing about the praying mantis is that it will even eat other praying mantis’s! Despite recognizing that another praying mantis is part of its own species, it will still fight to the death and eat others of its kind.
Praying Mantis in the Gardens
Some people think that the praying mantis is good for gardens, whereas other people think that it is bad.
This is because the praying mantis will hunt other insects that might be bad for your plants. There can however be some insects which are actually beneficial to your garden, so you will have to research your garden and determine if you should remove or promote praying mantis presence.
To hunt, the praying mantis will lie in wait on the plant that most likes it. If the praying mantis is very green, it will find a very green plant to lay on.
Praying Mantis Senses
The praying mantis has a very good sense of vision. It can also smell, although not too well, and it has one ear. The praying mantis has two eyes.
Its head can turn 180 degrees, allowing for a lot of flexibility. This allows the praying mantis to remain completely still, except for the head, while hunting.
The head is shaped like a triangle, and is very unique.
Reproduction & Lifespan
The praying mantis will live for about one year.
One rather strange thing about the praying mantis is that sometimes the female praying mantis will eat the male during intercourse, usually near or right at the end of the process. This is believed by scientists to actually remove inhibitions and help the process of reproduction.
This happens about 20-25% of the time, and happens more often in laboratories than in nature.
Growing up, praying mantis siblings may eat each other! They simply have no sense of “we are this species,” and will eat literally anything (including their brothers and sisters). It is truly a fight to be at the top.
The male praying mantis can fly, whereas the female praying mantis can’t fly.
Praying Mantis Summary
The praying mantis looks very unique and is considered an exotic species by most people. They are not a threat to humans, and will not attack you if you approach it.
They live a very different lifestyle, will eat literally anything, and that includes other members of its own species.
We hope you enjoyed reading & learning about the Praying Mantis. Have a great day!
-Wildlife X Team International