Rainforest Biodiversity Guide

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis

Scientific Name: Mantodea sp.

Category: Animal

Primary Layer: Canopy

Fun Facts:

  • Praying mantids are highly predacious and feed on a variety of insects, including moths, crickets, grasshoppers and flies. They lie in wait with the front legs in an upraised position. They intently watch and stalk their prey. They will eat each other.
  • The adult female usually eats the male after or during mating. Mantid's grasping response is incredibly rapid, so that you see it before it catches the insect and when the insect is in its front legs. The motion is barely a blur if it is perceived at all.
  • Praying Mantids are green or tan, camouflaging them among plants.
  • Praying Mantids have a flexible, elongated prothorax that looks like a neck and increases their head mobility.
  • Most of the more attractive colourful mantids mimic flowers. These range from the 'Indian Flower Mantis', which has light green wings with a striking white swirl in the middle of it's back to the most beautiful mantis of them all, the 'Orchid Mantis'. With petals in-between the legs and vivid shades of whites and pinks, this mantis lives up to its name mimicking the flower of the orchid.