About animals

Mantis which squad


Latin name:Deroplatys desiccata Westwood, 1839
Russian name:Giant Mantis "Dead Leaf"
Spread:Malacca, Sumatra, Java, Borneo
Habitats:Rainforest, on tree trunks, near the ground
Adult Size:Female up to 8 cm
Male up to 7 cm
Lifetime:Female up to 2 years old
Male up to 1.5 years old
Color variations:Light brown, brown, black
Aggressiveness to oneself like:Medium *

* group content of nymphs up to stage 3-4 (as well as adult males) is possible

Terrarium Size (LxWxH):

  • Single content: from 20 x 20 x 30 cm
  • Group content: from 30 x 30 x 30 cm for 3 adult males
  • Younger nymphs can be kept in smaller cages (see Terrarium for details)

Double ventilation is recommended (in the ceiling and in the opposite wall, closer to the bottom), in order to avoid stagnant moisture

Day 25 - 30 ° C, night room (20-25 ° C)

Relative humidity:


  • Substrate: soil, sand, paper towels, gravel, coconut substrate, etc. (mantises rarely sit at the bottom)
  • Branches (vertical and horizontal / bent), pieces of bark
  • Live or artificial plants (watch out for pesticides!)

1-2 stageFruit Fly (Drosophila hydei)
3-4 stageGreen meat fly, small cockroaches
from stage 5 to imagoLarge cockroaches, locusts

Segment counting: 8 visible ventral segments of the abdomen in males, 6 in females (for more details see Sex determination).

  • From stage 3-4: pronotum in females with two tips on the sides, directed downward, in males this is not
  • Adult: on the inner side of the front pair of wings, females have a “eye” pattern, males only have stripes

Adult stage (= fully grown + with wings):
Females at stage 9, males at 8
The number of links may vary (especially at abnormally low temperatures and / or damage)

Readiness for mating after molting to the adult stage:

Mating Duration:
10-20 hours

Ooteka (capsule with eggs)
Size: 2-3 cm
Shape: rounded
Brown colour
Placing places: thick branches or on the bottom of the leaves
First ooteka: 5-8 weeks after molting into the adult stage
Delay Interval:

12 - 25 days
Quantity: up to 8 ootec

Hatching and hatching

6 to 7 weeks
Temperature as in adults (see above), relative humidity more than 60% (with good ventilation)
Number of nymphs: up to 100 (average 40)
Stage 1 nymph size:

Praying Mantis - description, structure, characteristic. What does a mantis look like?

Almost all mantises have an elongated body with a characteristic structure that distinguishes them from other arthropod insects. The moving head of the mantis has an almost triangular shape and is able to rotate almost around its axis. Thanks to this, the insect can notice the enemy approaching from behind.

The convex large faceted eyes of the mantis have a complex structure and are located far from each other along the lateral edges of the head.

In addition to them, the insect has 3 simple eyes that are located above the base of the antennae.

The antennae of the mantis consist of numerous segments and, depending on the species of the insect, are filiform, cirrus or comb.

The oral apparatus of the mantis is a gnawing type and is directed downward.

A characteristic feature of the insects of this order is that the pronotum, expanded in the upper part, almost never covers the head.

The soft, slightly flattened abdomen consists of 10 segments.

The last segment of the abdomen ends with long paired appendages from numerous segments, cerci, which are the organs of smell.

In males, cerci are better developed than in females.

Cergy and ovipositor of a female Mantis Stagmomantis carolina. Photo by Kaldari, Public Domain

In almost all types of mantis, both the front and rear pair of wings are well developed, thanks to which the insect can fly. It is noteworthy that the narrow and dense wings of the anterior pair serve as original elytra that protect the hind wings. The hind pair of wings is wide, has many membranes and is folded fan-shaped.

Often, the wings of a mantis are brightly colored or there is a certain pattern on them. But also there are varieties of mantis, completely devoid of wings and in their appearance resembling larvae. Such, for example, is the earthen mantis (lat. Geomantis larvoides).

The anterior pair of limbs is especially well developed in the thoracic region of these insects. Each of them consists of an elongated coxa, trochanter, thigh, which is slightly larger in size than the coxa, tibia, and tarsus, consisting of 5 segments.

In its lower part, the thigh is studded with large sharp spikes located in 3 rows, the tibia also has spikes, although smaller, and at the end of the tibia there is a sharp needle-shaped hook. The last segments of the legs end with two claws of a rather large size.

Along the entire length of the thigh there is a groove in which the lower leg is inserted, like the blade of a folding knife that retracts into the handle. Mantis grab their prey and hold between the thigh and lower leg until the process of eating food is completed.

The middle and hind pairs of legs have a typical arthropod structure.

Forelegs of the Mantis Otomantis scutigera. Photo by: Bernard DUPONT, CC BY-SA 2.0

The circulatory system in mantis is rather primitively developed, which is a consequence of the breathing method. The body is supplied with oxygen due to the complex ramified system of the trachea, which are connected to the spiracles (stigmata) lying on several segments of the abdomen, as well as located on the middle and rear parts of the body. Expansions (air sacs) can form in the trachea, which increase the ventilation of the entire respiratory system.

Sexual differences in mantis are quite pronounced and are manifested in the size of individuals: females are always much larger than males.

On the left is a female, on the right is a male of an ordinary mantis. Photo by left: Alvesgaspar, CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo by right: Nicolas Weghaupt, Public domain

Some mantis can reach a length of 17 cm, for example, the species Ischnomantis gigas, which lives in Africa, or Heterochaeta orientalis, which is also called oriental heteroheta, and reaches a size of 16 cm.

Other mantises are very small in size and grow no more than 0.5-1.5 cm in length - such, for example, are mantis crumbs.

The body color of the mantis depends on the environment, as it is camouflage.

There are praying mantises, like green leaves, flowers or sticks, other species mimic the bark of trees, lichens or even the black color of the ashes after a fire.

The appearance of Gonatista grisea is almost impossible to distinguish from whitish growths on a tree. Photo by Yaroslav Kuznetsov, CC BY-SA 4.0

Deroplatys lobata is very similar to a brown leaf. Photo by: Fritz Geller-Grimm, CC BY-SA 3.0

The appearance of Choeradodis rhombicollis resembles a green leaf of a tree. Photo by: Benjamint444, GFDL 1.2

Humbertiella sp. disguised as a tree bark. Photo by L. Shyamal, CC BY-SA 3.0

It is unlikely that you will notice a mantis Pogonogaster tristani on a background of green moss. Photo by Leonardo Miranda Di Giambattista, CC BY-SA 3.0

Most mantis are painted in green, yellow or brown tones, although there are species with brighter and contrasting colors.

It is noteworthy that the colors of individuals of one species can vary quite a lot, as well as change after each molt.

Metallyticus splendidus shimmers with different colors and has a metallic sheen in color. Photo by: 김준석

Mantis Enemies

When attacking an enemy (such as a bird, or) or meeting with a rival relative, the mantises try to scare the enemy. They take a rather awesome pose, spreading their wings with a fan, pushing forward the front grasping legs and lifting up the end of their abdomen. This pose can be supplemented by menacing sounds. For example, the Sarawak mantis (lat.Hestiasula sarawaka) rustles its wings loudly and emits a clicking sound created by the contact of the upper part of the forelimb with the thigh. If the enemy is much stronger, the praying mantis prefers to retire and flies away, however, seeing his advantage, bravely confronts the enemy and often turns out to be the winner in such a battle.

Where does the mantis live?

The distribution area of ​​the mantis is quite wide and covers almost all countries of Asia, Southern and Central Europe, as well as some countries of Africa and South America. It includes Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Malta, Syria, India, China and Iran. Populations are recorded in Yemen and Turkey, Malaysia and Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Israel. Some mantis live in Russia, in Belarus, Tatarstan, Poland, Germany. On merchant ships, these insects were introduced and taken root in Australia and North America.

In the conditions of the tropics and subtropics, mantises live not only in moist forests, where they live in the branches of trees or shrubs, but also in the rocky deserts warmed by the sun. In Europe, these insects are common in the steppe regions, as well as in spacious meadows.

Praying mantises rarely change their habitat, and if there is a sufficient amount of potential food around them, they will never leave the selected plant or a separate branch. Active movements are used during the mating period, when there is a lack of food supply in the habitat or, in rare cases, when attacked by natural enemies: birds, chameleons, snakes or relatives of a larger size. Almost all types of mantis lead an active daily life.

What does a mantis eat?

A mantis is a predator, and its diet usually consists of other small and large insects. Representatives of this detachment would not mind to gape, or. Large individuals can attack and eat small amphibians (geckos), medium-sized birds, and even small rodents.

These predators ambush their prey. They grab prey with their forelimbs and hold it until they are completely eaten. Powerful jaws and the structure of the oral apparatus allow these insects to gnaw even large prey into pieces.

Mantis species, photos and names

In total there are more than 2000 species of mantis. The following is a description of several varieties.

It lives in most countries of Europe, Asia and Africa. Its distribution range includes Portugal and Spain, Italy and France, Turkey, Germany, Austria and Poland, as well as numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea. This species is found in Sudan and Egypt, in Israel and Iran, as well as in Russia, from the southern regions to the Primorsky Territory. Introduced populations are noted in Australia and North America. The common mantis is a rather large insect, the sizes of which reach 4.8-7.6 cm in females and 4.0-6.1 cm in males. Individuals are painted in green or brown with a yellow tint. The transparent wings of the mantis, trimmed with a green or brown edging, are well developed. The rather long abdomen has an ovoid shape. A distinctive feature of this species is a speck of black color, which is located on both coxae of the anterior pair of legs from the inside. Often a bright spot is visible in the center of such a spot.

  • Chinese Mantis (Chinese Bowing Mantis) (Tenodera aridifolia , Tenodera sinensis )

It is an endemic species that is naturally distributed throughout China. Adult female mantis reach 15 cm in length, the size of the males is much more modest. The color of these insects does not depend on gender and is green or brown. Nymphs and juveniles lack wings. The ability to fly Chinese mantis gain only after a few links. Vital activity of Tenodera sinensis manifests at night. Life expectancy is 5-6 months.

Widely distributed in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan and other countries in the South Asian region. Adults can reach 5 centimeters in length. The main body color of the mantis is cream or white. Throughout the body, head and legs are strips of different widths of light brown. Elytra and pronotum painted in olive-green tones. Elytra have one small and one large speck of white or cream color. The larger spot has the shape of an ellipse, which is outlined in black above and below.

Taken from the site: www.nhm.ac.uk

  • Creobroter gemmatus also called indian flower mantis

It is a typical inhabitant of the moist forests of India, Vietnam and other countries of South Asia. The sexually mature males of this species of mantis reach a length of 38 mm, the females are larger and grow up to 40 mm. The body of the insect is elongated, and the width of the pronotum is noticeably less than its length. On the hips there are several spikes of different heights. The body is painted in cream tones with brown or greenish spots. Both pairs of wings are well developed, and on the upper pair, which acts as elytra, there is a large bright spot that resembles an eye with two pupils and serves to scare away predators. The wings of males are longer than that of females. Due to the fact that the lower wings of the mantis, painted pink and brown at the base, have numerous membranes, the impression of a bizarre scaly pattern is created. The insect lives in the flowers of plants, where it awaits prey in the daytime.

Lives in areas with a hot and humid climate. Other unofficial names for this insect are spiked or prickly flower mantis . This species lives in the countries of southern and eastern Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, as well as Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion. The sizes of adults are rather modest. The length of females does not exceed 40 mm, and males - 30 mm. The color of these mantis is heterogeneous - it combines white, cream, pinkish, yellow and green tones. On the upper pair of wings there is a rather interesting pattern resembling a green eye or a small spiral. It is noteworthy that the curls of these spirals on the right and left wing are directed towards each other. These insects have spines not only on the surface of the forelimbs, but also on the abdomen - hence the name of this mantis.

Taken from the site: media1.webgarden.cz

  • Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus )

Distributed in the rainforests of India, Malaysia and Indonesia. This insect is considered one of the most beautiful representatives of the order. Received its name for its resemblance to the flowers on which it hides in anticipation of its victim. The sexually mature female mantis is quite impressive in size and grows up to 80 mm in length. The size of the males is much more modest and does not exceed 40 mm. A distinctive feature of this species are wide forelegs, a small head and a filiform tendril. The main body color of orchid mantis is white. However, it can vary depending on what flower the insect is in ambush on. Various shades of pink, orange, yellow, lilac or purple can be mixed with the main tone. This species of mantis is characterized by increased aggressiveness. They can attack prey, which is twice the size of a hunter. By the way, the larvae of the orchid mantis have a very unusual red-black color, which scares away potential enemies from them.

  • Idolomantisdiabolica, which is also called Damn flower or Devil flower

It lives in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and other countries of East Africa, where it lives on branches of shrubs and trees. Adult mantis of this species are quite large. Females can reach a length of 14 cm with a wingspan of about 16 cm. Male mantis are slightly smaller in size than females and rarely exceed 11 cm in length. The color of these insects can vary from various shades of green to light brown in color. The spikes located on the hips of the forelegs have different lengths. Between the long spines, three shorter ones are visible. A distinctive feature of this species are the characteristic leaf-shaped appendages formed by the expanded cuticles, which are located on the back, as well as on the middle and hind limbs. In addition, unlike other species, in Idolomantis diabolica, the top of the head narrows in the form of a cone. Mantis of this species are very often kept in home terrariums.

Taken from the site: archiwum.allegro.pl

  • Heteroheta eastern (Heterochaeta orientalis ), which also has an unofficial name spike-eyed mantis

It lives in most African countries. The female mantis reaches 15 cm in length. Males are smaller and grow up to 12 cm. Due to the fact that these insects live in the branches of shrubs, their appearance has unusual features that make them resemble knots or twigs. In addition, these African mantises have thorns located not only on the hips and lower legs of the forelimbs, but also on the upper edges of the head, which has the shape of a triangle. This gives the impression that the insect's eyes seem to be wrapped around these spines. This structure of the organs of vision, combined with a long “neck” located between the head and the prothorax, makes it possible for mantis of this species to easily notice prey or enemies not only in front and side, but also behind. It is noteworthy, but the body of the insect at this moment can remain completely motionless. The color of individuals depends on their age. If in the larval stage they are characterized by shades of brown, then lime shades are inherent in adults.

Taken from the site: www.deine-tierwelt.de

A species from the genus empusa, which is widespread throughout Africa, in most countries of Asia, as well as in Portugal, Spain and Andorra, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus. Adult mantis males are slightly smaller than females that grow up to 10 cm in length. A distinctive feature of the mantis is a peculiar high growth on the head, resembling a kind of crown in shape. The males have comb-type antennae, and additional spikes that look like feathers crown the head. The color of the mantis depends on the environment and may vary. These insects are characterized by green, yellow or pink colors, as well as various shades of brown.

Lives in rather arid regions of Africa located south of the Sahara desert, as well as on the island of Madagascar, where it lives in the branches of shrubs and trees. Thanks to a peculiar body shape resembling a leaf of a plant, he easily manages to hide from natural enemies and successfully hunt small insects. Such masking is provided by special outgrowths on the body and head of the mantis. Moreover, the processes on the head of the male are quite curved and slightly thinner than in females. The adults of this species are quite small. Females grow to a maximum of 5 cm, males are smaller. Protective coloration varies with air humidity and temperature. If the air temperature is small and the humidity is high, the insects have a green or gray-green color. When the humidity level drops and the temperature rises, the mantises acquire a brown or dark brown color.

It lives in India, Malaysia in Sumatra and in other countries of Southeast Asia. It hunts prey in the branches of trees or shrubs, as well as under the tree bark. Sexually mature mantis males can reach a length of about 2 cm. Females are slightly larger and grow up to 3 cm in length. The body of these insects is slightly flattened in the direction from the back to the abdomen. Sexual dimorphism is expressed not only in size, but also in the color of individuals. For males, blue-green shades with a pronounced metallic overflow of blue color are characteristic. In females, the body is painted in green tones with shiny bronze elytra.

Widely distributed in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, San Marino, Greece. The habitat of this species also includes Cyprus, Malta and other countries of Southern Europe and North Africa. The size of these insects is rather modest, with the males rarely exceeding 1 cm in length, and females can reach a length of 3 cm. You can also distinguish between males and females by the presence of wings. If in males they are well developed and allow it to make rather long flights, then in females this organ is reduced, therefore they are deprived of the ability to move through the air. The eyes of a mantis are conical in shape. The color of insects is variable and can vary from bright shades of green to brown and taupe. Unlike other species, these mantis have a short but strong hind pair of limbs.

  • Blepharopsismendica, which also has an unofficial name thistle mantis

It is found in Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and other countries of North Africa and southwestern Asia. These insects live in desert as well as mountainous areas. Males in size are slightly smaller than females, which can reach a length of 5.2-6.1 cm. In addition, the antennae of males have a comb structure. A distinctive feature of the species is also a characteristic outgrowth at the top of the head. On the lateral surface of the thigh and lower leg there are many spines of different sizes. The color of individuals can be greenish or brownish with numerous white spots that merge into bizarre patterns.

It lives in the tropical zone of Malaysia, Thailand and India. Adult females can grow in length up to 8-9 cm, males are slightly smaller. A characteristic feature of the mantis is a slightly enlarged pronotum, resembling a rhombus in shape. The body and elytra of the insect are painted in turquoise green with a blue tint. The rear pair of membranous wings is partially painted in bright pink tones.

  • Malaysian Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys dessicata )

Widely distributed both in the tropical forests of Malaysia or Indonesia, and in the wet bushes on Sumatra and Borneo. Females of the Malaysian leaf-like mantis are much larger than males in size. Their length can reach 15 cm, while males grow up to a maximum of 6 cm. This species has good camouflage abilities due to the special shape of the head and body, which give it a resemblance to withered foliage. Therefore, the color of the insect has a rather narrow color palette, which includes all shades of brown.

It lives in the humid forests of Malaysia, as well as in tropical thickets on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Prefers to hunt in the foliage of trees or small bushes, as well as in their twisted roots. In appearance, these insects strongly resemble wilted leaves, which serves them not only as a beautiful disguise that protects from enemies, but also helps to hide and wait for prey. The color of the body and legs is solid and can be of different shades of gray or brown. Adult females grow up to 8 cm in length, while the size of males barely reaches 5 cm. Unlike females, males have developed wings, so they can fly, and females lost this ability due to reduced wings.

It lives in India. This is a very large insect, whose length is 15-20 cm, including antennae. The excellent mantis camouflage makes it look like a dry blade of grass.

It was the turn of the fourth species that lives on the territory of the Volgograd region. In contrast to the species considered, empusa belong to a separate family of Empusidae (mantis and bolivaria are representatives of the family Mantidae, and the flower mantis belongs to the family Tarachodidae).
Here is how the empus J.A. described Fabre “Among the insects of our countries there is no stranger creature. This is some kind of ghost, a devilish ghost. The pointed physiognomy of the empusa does not look just cunning: it would be useful to Mephistopheles. ”

Empuses are my favorite mantis. They have a number of differences from the considered species, they relate not only to appearance, but also to lifestyle. I will dwell on some details.

One of the main differences in the lifestyle of an empus is the fact that nymphs go to winter. In the first three species, an ootek hibernates - eggs filled with foamy protein, which are a capsule that can survive quite extreme conditions, for example, frost.
Empus nymphs are born already in late July - early August and are relatively large in size. Fabre wrote about the nymph empus: “Her larva is the strangest creature, weak, wobbling and so strange in shape that a person who does not know her does not dare to pick her up. If you meet him between the bushes, you will see how it wobbles, shaking his head "looks at you as if he understands everything, and turns his head over his shoulder"

Newborn nymph of Cirrus empusa.

The fecundity of the empus is very low for insects, 10-15 nymphs hatch from one ooteka, in all, the female is able to postpone an average of 2-3 nodules. For comparison, the female common mantis lays up to hundreds of eggs in each odek. However, newborn mantis nymphs are much inferior in size to empus nymphs.

In this form, the ampoules go for the winter.

With the onset of spring, nymphs go out of their stupor. Begin the hunt for small insects.

A few rudiments appear rudiments of the wings.

By mid-June, an adult imago appears. These insects feed almost exclusively on flies and hymenopterans, which are trapped in flowers. Especially often the empus can be found under large inflorescences of tansy, bluehead, and mordovia.

A female empusa is hunting tansy.

Empusa caught a small fly or a bee on an inflorescence of the muzzle.

Empus males differ from females in their luxurious cirrus antennas.

Apparently, these antennas help in the search for females.

The males of the empus can be said to be lucky: the females of the empus never eat the males. Also, cannibalism is uncharacteristic for this group of praying mantis, empuses are distinguished by an exclusively peaceful disposition.

The male lurks in a bush of a bluehead.

But in spite of their peacefulness, empulsi are able to fend for themselves. In danger, the insect unfolds the front pair of limbs, showing red "armpits"

Empuses are good flyers. Once, when I was shooting a female praying mantis on a rainy windy day, she suddenly opened her wings and, without moving, began to wave them. It so happened to make this frame, on which the wings are clearly visible:

In this review, the praying mantises that I had observed and photographed ended. I hope that soon my list will be replenished, and species from other regions will be able to be added to the collection of Volgograd mantis.

Today, more and more people can be found who contain the houses of praying mantises. It is believed that if a praying mantis lives in the house, it is fortunate: peace and prosperity will reign in the family. These creatures do not smell, do not make unnecessary sounds, do not require much space, time, attention. But before you get this interesting insect as a pet, it will not hurt you to learn about the features of the mantis, its suitable habitat, feeding, and the intricacies of grooming.

Where to buy a mantis and how much does it cost?

You can find Bogomolov in some pet stores or look for ads for the sale of these wonderful insects on the Internet.

The price of a mantis primarily depends on the species. So, common mantis (Mantis religiosa) can be purchased for 500-1000 rubles, orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) - for 3000 rubles, Spiked flower mantis (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii) - for 1500-4000 rubles. The most expensive species, perhaps, is the mantis "devil's flower" (Idolomantis diabolica) - 11-12 thousand rubles.

It should be noted that for beginners it is better to pay attention to the types that are easy to maintain. So, for example, (Sphodromantis centralis) - easy to maintain and the most popular among beginners.

How to choose a mantis?

It is best to acquire mantis larvae (nymphs). When you take an adult mantis to the house, you cannot know its age. It is possible that the insect will quickly die, without giving offspring. Unfortunately, the age of the mantis is short-lived - only 5-9 months, rarely, with proper maintenance and care, 1 year. Adults live only about two months. Males usually die first - after the breeding season, they lose the desire to hunt, they become exhausted and lethargic.

When you choose a nymph, give preference to the active. Examine limbs for damage. The abdomen should be full.

External characteristics of the mantis

There are more than 2 thousand species of mantis on the planet, and all of them are fundamentally different in color and lifestyle. How to determine the type of mantis? By external signs, representatives of the order of the Bogomolovs have many similar characteristics: a small triangular head, very mobile, with well-developed eyes, a narrow body, and articular limbs.

The existing front wings, equipped with an intricate pattern, are often used by insects for protection, in the event of imminent danger they are widely opened, which frightens off the enemy. Transparent hind wings are required for flying. Sometimes there are completely wingless or short-winged specimens. How to determine what kind of praying mantis?

Insect specificity

The most specific feature of such a unique insect is its color, which coincides with the color of individual elements of its habitat: stones, grass, flowers, leaves of trees. Most often mantises are yellow and brown and green in color, which accounts for 80% of their total number. Fixed mantis in the natural environment is almost impossible to see. An insect can give out its presence only by movement.

A praying mantis moves slowly, but in case of danger it can very quickly move to a safe distance and freeze again in place. Because the favorite pose of such a unique insect is expectant. Like spiders, mantises are ambushes, ready to wait patiently for 24 hours to wait for the careless little cat.

Mantis lead a solitary lifestyle. Activity is shown to a greater extent during the day, as the potential victim is monitored visually. It is because of the long wait that the vast majority of insects and some specimens have a special body shape. For example, the species of mantis that lives in the grass is painted green and resembles a blade of grass, brown-mottled insects look like dry twigs. In the mantis Choerododis stalii, wearable tiny specks mimic damage to the leaf plate of the plant. Tropical species of praying mantis, waiting for their prey in flowers, have a curved abdomen and flat lobes on their legs, resembling flower petals.

Particularly striking is its adaptability to natural colors which, at a young age, has a white color, as it grows older it becomes pink, completely indistinguishable from a flower.

Praying Mantis: The Most Common Species

The most common are

In Russia, species of such insects are found mainly in the steppe regions, as well as in southern Siberia, the North Caucasus, the Far East, South Africa, Central Asia and Kazakhstan. There is also a tree mantis from the genus Hierodula and spotted-winged mantis (Iris polystictica).

In the southern regions of Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Empusa mantis adapted, characterized by large sizes (about 6.5 cm in length), a pointed triangular head and a protruding long outgrowth in front.

Preferring open shrubby spaces, it is most activated in the dark. Larvae appear in the summer and immediately switch to feeding on butterflies and filly. In the southern regions of Russia mantis of the genus Bolivaria is often found.

By the way, bolivariums, spotted-winged mantises and empuses in some places become rare representatives of the animal world due to the destruction of dense forbs when plowing the steppe lands.

Desert species of mantis, whose names are difficult to remember for the average layman, are characterized by small size and similarity with ants in the process of movement. Bright representatives are Rivetina (Rivetina and Armena).


A mantis can live both on the upper tiers of trees and shrubs, and on the very surface of the earth, in the grass. Thanks to well-developed wings, the insect can fly, and only males rush in flight. If there is enough food, a mantis can live on a tree for the rest of its days.

Being thermophilic in nature, the most comfortable mantis feel in the tropical and subtropical zone. It is there, in humid forests, that the largest number of varieties of such an insect is found. In cold climates, predators tend to inhabit the most warmed up regions: upland meadows and steppes.

Power Features

Almost all species of mantis eat insects, representatives of the tropics prefer lizards and frogs. For a day, a mantis is able to eat 7 small cockroaches, spending about half an hour chewing each. The process of eating is consistent: first chews the soft parts, and then moves on to harder ones. The norm of life for them is cannibalism, which sometimes manifests itself at the most inopportune moment.

It is noticed that after mating it often eats its chosen one. In order not to be in the stomach of her lady, the partner before the act of intercourse performs a ritual dance, setting up the female for a peaceful mood.

Mating tropical mantis is performed year-round, temperate mantis species of the temperate zone are united in a single rush in the autumn. The female is able to lay up to four hundred eggs several times. The place of masonry chooses any suitable surface: stalks of grass, tree branches, sand. Each masonry is dipped into a foamy mass by the female; when solidified, the capsule forms a gray, brown or sand color. Egg maturation lasts from 3 weeks to six months. In temperate species, eggs survive wintering. Mantis nymphs differ from adult insects only in the absence of wings, the body shape is exactly the same, as well as gluttony. Growing individuals develop very quickly and in the process of growing up they can survive about fifty links.

Frighten the enemy

Praying mantises are peace-loving insects, but before the approaching danger they become in an unfriendly "hunting" pose. For greater intimidation, they can make sounds: rustling wings, flipping legs. If this has no effect on the enemy, fly away or rush at the enemy and bite him. Moreover, in an attack on the enemy in an attempt to prick him, he puts forward grasping legs. Chameleons, snakes, birds are considered enemies of the mantis. Today, praying mantises are becoming more and more popular and sought after animals in domestic insectariums.

The most characteristic feature of a mantis is the arrangement of the front pair of legs armed with strong spikes and serving to capture prey.

Mantis are often bred in terrariums. After all, watching this insect is extremely interesting. But, unfortunately, in nature it is quite difficult to track down a mantis, because he is a master in disguise. Patronizing green or brown color makes it almost invisible in the grass. This insect freezes motionless for a long time, making it again very difficult to detect.

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The scientific name for the species in Latin is Mantisreligiosa. The word mantis is translated “priest”, “prophet”, religiosa - “religious”. Karl Linney chose the name not by chance, expecting prey, an ordinary mantis or a religious mantis folds its tibia into the groove of the hips. His posture resembles a person frozen in prayer.

Common Mantis (Mantisreligiosa) belongs to the order of the mantis, including 2800 species. The body of the insect is narrow and elongated. Males grow up to 43-52 mm, females are much larger - 50-75 mm. The anatomical feature of the mantis is the structure of the forelimbs. The grasping legs with spiky elongated hips and legs are designed to hold prey. The thigh and lower leg in the ligament function according to the principle of scissors. On the inside of the coxae of the forelimbs there is a dark spot with a white mark in the middle.

Despite the fact that females are larger than males, males have longer tendrils and large eyes.

The head is triangular, mobile, the insect is able to look back. On the sides are large, convex faceted eyes. In European mantises they have a black pupil. On the forehead there are long filiform antennae and three simple eyes. The mouth apparatus of the gnawing type is directed downward. The common mantis has two pairs of well-developed wings. Light males and young females are able to fly over a considerable distance.

The front wings are narrow and leathery, they replace the elytra. The hind wings are wide, in a calm state fold on the back like a fan. The pronotum expands at the top, but never covers the head. The abdomen is elongated, soft, consists of 10 segments. On the last segment are located appendages - tserki. On the sides of the body are 10 pairs of spiracles.

Color and camouflage

The type of coloring of the common mantis is patronizing. Body color is green (in 80% of cases), yellow, light or dark brown. Camouflage coloring allows you to merge with the environment. When the insect is motionless, it completely mimics under the foliage or twig. Camouflage has two functions: it allows you to hunt from ambush and hide from enemies.

Some mantis have a stunningly complex and effective camouflage color, in which they can compete with any other animal. Some can blend in with trees and leaves so well that they are almost impossible to notice. They even swing, as if leaves and twigs shaken by a gentle breeze. One of the most fantastic camouflages is possessed by species of violin mantis from India and orchid mantis from Malaysia. They have a purple-violet or bright pink color with interspersed with the desired shade of green and strategically correctly placed dark areas, and can bend the abdomen so that an exact copy of part of the flower is obtained. Even specialists may mistake them for a flower.

When the enemy attacks, the mantis opens its wings to increase in size. He sways from side to side and menacingly raises his front legs and the edge of the abdomen. All actions are aimed at scaring off the aggressor. If the enemy is too large, the mantis flies away.


Widely distributed in the southern regions of Europe, going north to 54 ° north latitude, Western and Central Asia, Kazakhstan, North Africa, in the south of the African continent it comes to Transvaal and the Cape Land (South Africa). Thanks to man, he went far beyond his range, as he was brought in by merchant ships to North America and Australia. Distributed in Russia in the European part (south of 50 - 54 ° N), in the Caucasus, in the steppe zone of the southern Urals, in the south of Siberia and the Far East.


Praying Mantis lives and hunts as a typical "ambush." The predator freezes until the prey is within reach. He grabs the prey with his front legs and begins to eat from the head. Males are careful in choosing hunting objects; they attack flies, locusts and other small insects. Large females often attack victims almost equal in size to them. Aggressive individuals attack lizards, birds, frogs. They jump onto the back of a reptile and bite behind its head. The fight lasts several minutes, in the process the hunter may become a victim. If successful, the production is eaten within 2-3 hours. The female remains full until 4-5 days.

You can meet Mantisreligiosa in the forest, steppe forbs, in the meadow. Insects do not avoid even large cities where they adapted to live in grass, parks and gardens. Favorite habitat of the common mantis is tall trees and shrubs. Insects prefer a sedentary lifestyle. They do not leave their usual territory, move between tiers. Four limbs are used for movement, less often wings.

With enough food, they spend their entire lives on one plant. Insects have excellent eyesight, they capture the slightest movement in the environment. Camouflage coloring allows you to imperceptibly approach production. Hunting takes place in the daytime. At the prey, all soft tissues are eaten, chitin legs and wings remain. How long an ordinary praying mantis lives depends on the amount of food and gender. The age of females is longer, on average, representatives of the species in natural conditions live 2-3 months. In captivity, the life span of insects increases several times and amounts to 12-13 months.


Mantis are predatory insects. They catch their victims with strong front legs covered with sharp spikes. Praying mantis, waiting for prey with "humbly" folded front legs, slightly resembles a praying person - hence the name of insects. Mantis females are larger, gluttonous and more aggressive than males. Males feed mainly on small insects, and huge females often attack even relatively large animals such as lizards, frogs and birds.


People have repeatedly observed how, during or after mating, they kill and eat their partners. In fact, in most cases, mating of insects occurs normally. And if the female eats the male, she does it “out of forgetfulness”, taking him for the way turned up victim. The fact is that when a female develops eggs, her body requires an additional amount of protein and at this time she becomes especially voracious.

Before mating, the male praying mantis performs an intricate dance in front of the female and sends her an odorous signal, releasing special substances into the air. This helps him to somehow secure his life: otherwise, the female would surely take him for a tidy prey.

After mating, the female praying mantis lays several dozen eggs. But before that, she constructs for them special "bags" of foamy protein material - ooteks. Foamy fluid is produced by special glands in the abdomen of the insect. First, the female attaches a lump of foam to a tree branch. While the foam is wet and soft, it equips it with several small chambers (indentations) and lays one egg in each chamber. After some time, the foam hardens in air and turns into a durable material resembling polystyrene. Ooteks protect eggs from adverse external influences: they withstand negative temperatures and are not destroyed by pesticides.

Mantis hatching from eggs (nymphs) are selected from the ooteka through a single hole at its apex. Mantis larvae are very similar to adult insects, but lack wings. The nymphs of some mantis live in nests and disguise themselves as ants.

Mantis and man

For example, it is widely believed that mantises kill only “harmful” insects, but this is not so. Praying mantises with equal desire regale, for example, honey bees and garden pests.

There are about 1,800 species of mantis. In the United States, two species are widespread: the introduced Chinese mantis, 8–13 cm long, and the local Caroline mantis, which reaches 5 cm in length. Scientists disagree on how to classify insects of the family Mantidae. Some group them with other insects in a squad Dictyoptera. Others put them in a separate unit -Mantodea.

Evolutionists claim that mantises evolved from the same ancestor as cockroaches, but this is based on faith, not on observable and verifiable evidence.

After the obligatory tribute to evolution is paid, most scientists admire the amazing design of the mantis. For example, with regard to lightning speed and strong muscles of the mantis forepaws, the researchers use words such as: “superbly equipped”, “complex set”, and that “their front legs are surprisingly constructed.”

In the United States they are used only in orchards for growing organic fruits. In general, the condition of this group of insects is safe. Species such as spotted iris, striped empusa, and short-winged bolivaria are listed in the regional Red Books.


It will be a very exotic and unusual act to have a domestic praying mantis, isn't it? Nevertheless, there are people who have such “pets” and if you also want to join them, the first thing you will have to take care of is the terrarium. A relatively small, glass or plastic terrarium with a mesh cover is suitable, its dimensions should be at least three times the size of the mantis itself. Inside, it would be nice to place twigs or small plants along which the mantis will climb trees.

How to feed the mantis at home?

Live food. Crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, flies are perfect. Some species of mantis will not mind eating ants. And with all this they need to be fed regularly, so keeping such “pets” can be a bit of a troublesome task. But you do not need to drink mantis, since they get the necessary body fluid from food.

How to take a mantis in hand?

For a man, praying mantises are not dangerous, but, like any living creature, in the event of a threat, they either flee or try to defend themselves. Therefore, when you inspect the insect, take it in your hands without making sudden movements, otherwise the mantis can briskly run and fall. Adult praying mantises are able to protect themselves from injuries during a fall - they spread their wings, thereby reducing the rate of fall. But for a young nymph, a fall usually ends with a ruptured abdomen. If a mantis takes a threatening pose, it’s best not to touch it: the prickly spikes on your front legs can scratch you.

To take an insect in order to examine it, you need to correctly. The movements should be slow and smooth. The hand is carefully brought up from the back and fingers are put under the legs of the insect so that it is completely in the palm of your hand. It is impossible to press and squeeze a mantis.

In general, it is not worth taking a mantis without special need. Better put your palm up and let the insect climb onto it yourself (you can slightly push it).

Where to put the mantis?

The most “economical” housing for a mantis is a specially equipped plastic container, in which it is also necessary to create a “home environment” - place twigs, put soil on the bottom. The height of the container should be 2-3 times the length of the insect.

If you plan to breed mantis, then you will need several terrariums or containers, since most species of mantis cannot be kept in groups.

Keep in mind that mantises are thermophilic: for a comfortable existence, most species need a temperature of +23 - + 25 ° C, and for some tropical species - +28 - + 30 ° C. To heat a terrarium, you can use a conventional incandescent lamp, which also serves as a light source . Thermal heating pads for terrariums are also suitable for heating. However, do not forget that too high a temperature is detrimental to the mantis.A small thermometer, which is mounted on the glass, will help control the temperature.

Is it possible to keep a mantis without a terrarium, right in the room?

Some species can live without a terrarium. For example, females Hierodula, Sphodromantis, Mantis. They can be settled on domestic plants. The main thing is not to forget to feed your predator in time, then it will not leave its familiar place. And remember: the room should have a temperature suitable for this type of mantis.

How to feed a mantis?

Think in advance whether you can provide. This rather voracious and capricious predator eats only insects, and it is alive and mobile, and nothing else. You will have to buy cockroaches and other feed insects at the pet store or breed them yourself. Another option is to catch grasshoppers, moths, etc. in the warm season. in a forest, garden or park.

How does a mantis deal with enemies?

Of course, the mantis also has dangerous enemies. Although he flies pretty well, a mantis can not always hide from danger in this way. Therefore, when an insect collides with an enemy, it does not try to crawl away or fly away. Mantis is trying to scare a predator. He spreads his wings with a sharp movement and begins to make menacing sounds. Such a sharp change in the appearance of an insect scares even a person.

Why do female mantis eat males?

Mantis are predatory insects. They catch their victims with strong front legs covered with sharp spikes. Praying mantis, waiting for prey with “humbly” folded front legs, slightly resembles a praying person - hence the name of insects. Mantis females are larger, gluttonous and more aggressive than males.

Males feed mainly on small insects, and huge females often attack even relatively large animals such as frogs and birds. People have repeatedly observed how, during or after mating, they kill and eat their partners. In fact, in most cases, mating of insects occurs normally. And if the female eats the male, she does it “out of forgetfulness”, taking him for the way turned up victim. The fact is that when a female develops eggs, her body requires an additional amount of protein and at this time she becomes especially voracious.

Before mating, the male praying mantis performs an intricate dance in front of the female and sends her an odorous signal, releasing special substances into the air. This helps him to somehow secure his life: otherwise, the female would surely take him for a tidy prey.

How do female mantis protect eggs?

After mating, the female praying mantis lays several dozen eggs. But before that, she constructs for them special "bags" of foamy protein material - ooteks. Foamy fluid is produced by special glands in the abdomen of the insect. First, the female attaches a lump of foam to a tree branch. While the foam is wet and soft, it equips it with several small chambers (indentations) and lays one egg in each chamber. After some time, the foam hardens in air and turns into a durable material resembling polystyrene. Ooteks protect eggs from adverse external influences: they withstand negative temperatures and are not destroyed by pesticides.

Mantis hatching from eggs (nymphs) are selected from the ooteka through a single hole at its apex. Mantis larvae are very similar to adult insects, but lack wings. The nymphs of some mantis live in nests and disguise themselves as.

Mantis - Mysterious Creatures

Incidentally, some peoples believed that by frightening a mantis, a person shortens his life. Generally speaking, many beliefs were associated with the mantis. It was believed that his bite saves from warts, that he is able to predict the future and show the way. Some lost travelers even today, after finding a mantis, ask for advice. It is believed that the insect should extend its upper leg in the direction where it should go.

Praying mantis really seems a mysterious creature, similar to a sorcerer, shaman or prophet. He freezes for many hours, prayerfully folding terrible claws and swaying measuredly along with the blades of grass that sway the wind. His gaze is directed skyward. In such a touching position, the predator expects another prey.

A mantis is an arthropod insect that belongs to the order of a mantis (lat. Mantodea, Mantoptera).

The origin of the international name "Mantodea" is reliably unknown. This detachment received the Russian definition due to some similarities between the front limbs of the insect and human arms bent at the elbow joint. In this position, the mantis is ambushed and awaits prey, shaking its head from time to time. Due to this peculiarity of behavior, as well as due to associative perception, an insect resembling a person who reads a prayer got its name.

Taken from the site: artfile.me

How to determine the gender of a mantis?

It is easy to determine the sex of an adult mantis: on the inner part of the abdomen, the female has 6 lobes, and the male has 8. Another sign that distinguishes the male from the female mantis is the presence of a feathery antennae in the male. In addition, the female mantis is usually larger and thicker than the male. When determining the sex of young individuals, difficulties may arise.

Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) July 13th, 2013

Orchid Mantis (lat. Hymenopus coronatus ) Malaysian flowering or orchid mantis is a very rare insect! The color of these mantis can be of various colors: from pink to yellow to white. This allows the mantis in nature to hide in the flowers of orchids.

Habitat : These insects inhabit the tropical rainforests of northeast India, Thailand, Sumatra, Malaysia and Borneo. In nature, they can be found among the foliage of trees, in flowers, and especially on orchids, among which mantis live and hunt.

The size : The body size of females is about 6 cm, males up to 3 cm. Sex can also be determined by the abdomen - males have 8 segments of the abdomen, females - 6.

Description : The coloring of adults is usually white or pink, sometimes with a green tint, and the larvae that have just hatched from the eggs have a red-black color and resemble ants in appearance. Adult individuals (especially males) can fly well. The life expectancy of females is about 11 months, males 5-6 months.

Character : Females of this species often show aggression towards their relatives, therefore they should be kept separately. Males, with a sufficient amount of feed, can be kept in groups. Up to 4-5 molts nymphs can live together, then females should be deposited, and kept separately.

Content : To keep one adult female, a vertical terrarium is needed, approximately 20x20x30cm in size, with good ventilation. At the bottom should be poured about 2-3 cm of the substrate. As it can be used peat, vermiculite or coconut substrate. Inside the terrarium should be decorated with various branches, snags or plants, which will serve as a mantis shelter and hunting ground. A drinking bowl with constantly clean and fresh water should always be in the terrarium. For lighting, you can use a fluorescent lamp, which can also perform a heating function. Avoid contact with the sun in the terrarium. The temperature during the day must be maintained at 25-30 ° C, and at night within 20 ° C. Humidity should be maintained at a high level - approximately 75-90%. Once every 1-2 days, the substrate must be slightly sprayed, but not over-moistened, because as a result, fungi and mites dangerous for the mantis can develop in the terrarium.

Feed : The main food for mantis is insects of a suitable size. It is advisable to give them insects no larger than half the size of their own body.

Breeding : Males of this species reach puberty much earlier than females, so their growth should be slowed down before breeding. For this, males should be kept at a low temperature (20-25 ° C) and rarely fed. Females, on the contrary, should be kept at elevated temperatures and often receive food. Before mating, the female should be well fed, as often females devour their mates during mating. If pairing is successful, the first ootek can be delayed after one week. In total, the female can postpone up to 6 swollen. At a temperature of about 30 ° C and high humidity, nymphs appear after 1-2 months. Their number is usually from 50 to 100. Sexual maturity in males occurs after 5 links, in females after 7.

And why were the mantis called the mantis? We know that they adore folding their forelegs as if they are praying to God and also that they know how to pretend to be great with all kinds of sticks and leaves. Moreover, in this art of mimicry, they reached the highest, almost unattainable high.

Praying mantises eat pollinating insects, which is why they occupied this niche of mimicry - they pretend to crave pollination and grab everyone who flies to this color appeal: bees, butterflies, dragonflies, flies.

But these insects do not close their appetite! Praying mantises are so strong, and their jaws are so powerful that they can very successfully attack lizards even, including those that far exceed their size.

Orchid praying mantises can also be eaten with small pieces of bananas or other sweet fruits rich in potassium.

In rare cases, the female praying mantis may well have lunch with the male, but this happens in the most extreme cases when the female is very hungry. But this was also taken into account by wise nature - males are born more than females and their maturation period is shorter than that of females.

Orchid mantis is kept at home. This does not present great difficulties, you just need to know the diet of their food, how to keep it, and the main thing to remember about this type of praying mantis is that they need very high humidity during molting.

If a praying mantis is kept for a long time surrounded by flowers of the same color, then with each next molt they will acquire a color more and more similar to the color of these flowers.

They have such a paw structure that it is extremely difficult for them to free themselves from the old “skin” if it does not get wet from wet

Praying mantises are bold insects and engage in battle, protecting their lives - they can hurt or bite painfully.

In the wild, they have many enemies. These are large lizards, geckos, bats, rodents, for example, shrews, toads, birds and even large spiders.

According to the latest trends in taxonomy, the mantis is a suborder of the cockroach-like detachment, however, I will not climb into this jungle. I’ll only tell you what you might need when shooting these amazing creations. Praying mantises are one of the most photogenic insects, mainly due to the moving head and large eyes. In total, in the Volgograd Region, 4 species of mantis can be found: common mantis (Mantis religiosa), spotted-winged mantis (Iris polystictica), short-winged bolivaria (Bolivaria brachyptera), and cirrus nodule (Empusa pennicornis). In addition to these, at least one species inhabits the territory of the Astrakhan region, but I have not managed to get to it yet.

Mantis are very temperamental insects, although they sometimes look apathetic. In the photo, an ordinary mantis female shows a protective stand.

I will begin the review with the most common species - the common mantis. These insects have climbed far north and are found even in the suburbs.

Praying mantises are insects with incomplete transformation, which means that in their development they pass the pupal stage. T.O. adult (adult stage insect) appears after molting of a larva of a recent age. Incomplete transformation larvae are called nymphs. Nymphs, as a rule, are similar in all respects to adults, except for one thing - nymphs do not have wings.

In the photo, a nymph of one of the last ages cleans her hunting tool.

It is worth noting that the front pair of mantis extremities is a formidable weapon.

Praying mantis is able to cope with comparable prey. For example, with a female green grasshopper.

Or a male gray grasshopper. The color of the mantis can vary greatly, there are mantis of green, brown, straw color.

Sexual dimorphism in ordinary mantis is expressed quite well. All previous photos depict females.

Here is a photo of the male. Males differ from females in a more slender build, long antennas, and smaller size. Males are much more timid than females, and if females hardly fly, but rely on camouflage, then males flock relatively often when you try to come close to them. Well, the main difference between the sexes is a different number of abdominal segments - sternites. Males have seven, females have one less - six.
In the photo is the classic position of a mantis in nature. As a rule, praying mantises lie in wait for their victims, hanging upside down among the plants.

Well, the most famous fact from the life of mantis is that the female eats the male after mating. I managed to observe pairing only once, at that time the male managed to shed :)

In this photo, the differences between the sexes are clearly visible.

To be continued. In the next review, a spotted-winged (floral) mantis (Iris polystictica).


For mantis, the soil must pass air and not be moldy, i.e. must be aerobic. It is not recommended to use ordinary soil or a substrate for home flowers. In the terrarium for mantis, 2-3 cm of substrate is enough: a coconut substrate (it can be purchased at any flower shop or stall), chopped oak or birch leaves are also very suitable. This substrate perfectly passes air and retains moisture in the terrarium.


Since mantises are wood insects, they very much need shelters. Shelters can be both artificial and live. The main thing is to ensure that mold with fungi and mites do not appear. We do not recommend decorating the terrarium with freshly taken twigs from nature, as you can bring ticks, or other parasites. According to this, the best options are decorative and artificial decorations of your terrarium, they will be safe for your pet, and convenient when cleaning the terrarium.


Moisture is one of the important criteria in the content of a mantis. In order to maintain an optimum level of humidity, it is necessary to sprinkle the terrarium with the settled water moderately. Do not get carried away by spraying very much, because through measured hydration of the terrarium can lead to the formation of mold, which will significantly harm your pet! At the bottom of the terrarium you can put a drinker. It should not be deep, it is very important, do not let your pet drown. There should always be fresh and settled water in the drinker!


A praying mantis needs an average room temperature, approximately 23-25 ​​° C (there are species that need a different temperature). If the room is very cold, then you can use the thermal cable and heating pads for the terrarium. In order to be constantly aware of the temperature, install a thermometer in a terrarium in a prominent place.

How to eat a home mantis

How to feed a mantis at home? Such pets prefer aphids, flies, as well as other insects, suitable in size. Young individuals grow very quickly, provided that the owner will feed them well.
Many representatives of mantis can be aggressive towards their relatives, so cannibalism is quite possible, especially if there is a significant difference in size between individuals. Domestic praying mantises can also consume insects of the same size, or perhaps even more than themselves.
Praying mantises in most cases do not drink water, however, a container of water should be placed at the place of their maintenance. It will also serve as a source of moisture to maintain the desired microclimate. In the absence of capacity, a necessary condition will be spraying water to ensure humidity.

10 facts about praying mantises

  1. Mantis got its name thanks to the Swedish naturalist and physician Karl Linnaeus. He named the insect in honor of his expectant hunting pose, when the mantis folds its forelimbs like a man holds his hands together in prayer.
  2. From the Greek, the name of these insects is translated as “fortune teller” or “prophet”, and in Latin means “religious”.
  3. The female mantis is larger than the male, its length can reach 75 mm. Females of these insects, unlike males, attack insects of this and larger sizes.
  4. Not only insects, but also small lizards, frogs and even birds can become victims of praying mantises. Mantis eat even very poisonous animals, for example, black widow spiders.
  5. The most famous feature of mantis is cases of cannibalism, when a female devours a male during mating. In 50% of cases, the female eats the male after mating, but scientists were able to observe more than once when the female even tore off the male’s head before mating, while his body without a head began to fertilize.
  6. Praying mantises lay eggs in unusual capsules called ooteks. In these capsules, the eggs are laid in several rows and filled with frozen protein material, which allows future offspring to withstand not only sub-zero temperatures, but even exposure to pesticides.
  7. Mantis have well-developed wings, but females of this species fly very reluctantly and poorly due to their impressive size and special body structure.
  8. The color of the mantis is very diverse, and nature has endowed them with an excellent disguise. There are species of praying mantises that remind in structure the leaves, twigs and even flowers of plants, for example, orchid or jasmine flowers.
  9. During periods of molting, praying mantises need increased moisture, because it is very difficult for them to get rid of old skin until it gets wet.
  10. Some species of praying mantis, which disguise themselves as flowers of plants, if they live surrounded by flowers of the same shade, with each molt they will acquire a color that is more and more like a real flower.


In our courtyard (a mansion with a plot) in the "wild" for several years praying mantises. This year we observe them literally every day, and over the years we have seen a lot of interesting things (for example, “cannibalism” - when a female eats a male after mating - this is a very rare occurrence, we were lucky to observe two years ago). And today for the first time we saw how a mantis flies ...

Last year, a praying mantis lived with me for a month, but I lived in a bank on the river, I had to run for moths and flies. It was a male, so buzzing with wings that sometimes I was scared. And about 7 years ago, the female lived, and for a very long time all summer. But she unfortunately died due to our stupidity, the cutlery climbed up to her, and we did not remove it. In general, she was bitten by a shell and she could not shed. But near the end of August I planted the boy on a flower on the windowsill and he flew away into the wild.

And I am very afraid of praying mantises ... I would not be able to keep at home ... And here I look, they live on flowers so cute)

Praying Mantis, my horror from childhood .. I woke up at night, thinking that “it” was creeping around my neck swinging) But it turns out they are also kept at home.

Alexander S.
And I really like these unusual animals. As a child, he kept and raised mantis, and then let the kids go free.