Praying Mantis Facts: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Named for its prayerful pose, the praying mantisĀ is one of those animals that does not get attention very often. This is why we have put together a list of facts on this beautiful animal, so here you go.

Number Fifteen: They Like Warm Weather

You won’t find this insect in cold spots. Of the 2,000 known species only 18 are native to North America, the rest hail from the tropics.

Number Fourteen: Praying Mantis Are Fairly Flexible

Insects are not usually known for their flexibility. The praying mantis is the exception to this with their ability to turn 180 degrees. They can do this because of a flexible joint between the head and prothorax that lets them swivel their heads.

Number Thirteen: Its Relatives Are Not As Nice To Look At

Praying mantises are lovely to look at, especially if you catch them in their special poses. Their relatives, which include cockroaches or termites are not as nice to look at. We would much rather have a praying mantis in our homes than its cousins!

Number Twelve: Females Can Be A Bit Violent

One rule of thumb, do not anger a female praying mantis! The reason for this is they have been known to eat any man who irritates them, sometimes even beheading them.

Number Eleven: Their Legs Do More Than ‘Pray’

A praying mantises legs may look like posing is their only job, but there is so much more to it than that. Mantises use their legs to hold and kill their prey by extending its arms to grab the insect. Sharp spines help hold the capture in place which can help if mantises go after bigger animals, such as frogs, birds and lizards.

Number Ten: They Aren’t Picky About Their Food

If a praying mantis is hungry, whether the food choice is a good or bad bug will not be a question. They will gladly consume both, even if the bug is helpful in the garden.

Number Nine: They Are Relatively Young Timeline-Wise

Unlike other insects, the praying mantis has not been around for very long. In fact, they have only been around for approximately 146-66 million years, or since the Cretaceous Period. They have also evolved by losing their spines on their back legs and have gained an extended neck. Stay tuned for part two of our series on praying mantises coming soon!