In Thailand it’s not unusual to see a Praying Mantis fly in to your house, or become the center of attention if one flies in to a restaurant or bar. Usually here in Thailand the Praying Mantis is handled with respect and placed back outside where he belongs. If you hold one in your hand and raise a finger in front of it, this will often encourage the mantis to box your finger, they can give you a nip if you aggravate them too much.
The Praying Mantis is so called because when it is resting or waiting in ambush it raises its legs in front of its head as if in prayer. The Mantis is actually a very formidable predator, it uses its long spiky front legs to snatch its prey and hold it before commencing to eat it alive.
Some Praying Mantis Facts
- There are more than 2000 species of Praying Mantis, and most of them are native to Asia.
- The female often eats the male after courtship, this is to provide protein for the developing eggs.
- The praying mantis is closely related to the cockroach.
- The Praying Mantis is the only insect which can turn it’s head 180 degrees.
- The word “mantis” is a Greek word meaning “prophet”.
- They can see up to 60 feet away.
- The Praying Mantis uses its long front legs to snare its prey, it then bites it on the neck and begins to eat it alive.
- The Praying Mantis feeds on insects, some larger mantises will feed on small animals such as frogs, mice, and even small birds.
- Mantises can live for up to one year.