Do you know that if baby mantises don't get water 12 hours after they emerge from the egg case, the will die? Also, did you know, the female bites off the males' head usually after mating? Even if Praying Mantises are strange insects, the have a lot in common with any grasshopper.
There are about 1,800 species of mantises and there are a lot of different names. It is called Praying Mantis, because of its habit of standing on its hind legs, and its forelegs raised as in a prayer. The Praying Mantis's scientific names are Mantis religiosa and Tenocera ariditelia sininsis. It has a lot of other names too. Like the "Rasputin" of the animal kingdom and the mantid or sooth sayer. Also, it is a type of grasshopper called Orthoptera.
The Praying Mantis is either brownish or green to hide from its predators (more about that later). It is a slow-moving winged insect. It is very different from other insects, because of the way its body is shaped. It has a triangle head, two antennas, and very large compound eyes. Also, it has long, thin legs and tow spiny arms. Their powerful hind legs are adapted for jumping and are suited for catching its prey. The front legs are equipped with sharp spines that enable the Praying Mantis to grasp and hold their prey. Also, they are for climbing. The middle legs are for walking. Their heads are able to turn all the way around, in both directions and making it the only insect who can look over its shoulder. Its "teeth" are double row and located close to its neck. Praying Mantises range from one to six inches in length or 2.5 to 12.5 centimeters. The female is bigger than the male and their wings are a quarter of an inch longer than her body. The pass through an incomplete metamorphosis.
The Praying Mantis is a predator insect. They hunt in the daytime. They are very helpful to people, because they eat the insects that are harmful to the plants. It eats insects, other invertebrates, bugs such as flies, ants, spiders, and ladybugs, When hunting, Praying Mantises either slowly stalk their prey or sit and wait.. When an insect comes near enough to the mantid, its forelegs strike out like a flash and grabs its prey. Then it eats its prey. It chews with its mouth open and food sticking out of its mouth. A mantis only eats its prey's body. Its predators are birds, lizards, bats, snakes, and turtles.
Female Mantises lay several hundred eggs in a parchment-like braided egg case which surrounds a twig. The baby mantises are born May or June, but if the spring is cold the babies will hatch slower. If the spring is hot the babies will be born faster. When born, the mantises are honey color, but they darken as they mature. Mantises are carnivores and eat flies,moths, crickets, and even wasps as early as 24 hours after emerging from the egg case. If Praying Mantises don't get water 12 hours after they emerge from the egg case, they will die.
The European mantis was introduced into upstate New York about 50 years ago. The Chinese Mantis came to Pennsylvania in 1896. The Praying mantis is commonly found in tropical and warm temperature climates. Praying Mantises live throughout Europe and North America. They live in trees and shrubs.
Here are two Praying Mantis's unusual facts. The Mantis' favorite position is to hang with its head down and its forelegs folded. A Praying Mantis can not make any sound.
Mantises are very unusual insects but they have some neat characteristics. So don't judge an insect on the way it looks, because some are harmless.