Praying Mantis

Praying mantises (or mantids, Order: Mantodea) are a diverse group of carnivorous insects. They are found all over the world, especially in the tropics.

Mantises are characterized by their triangle-shaped heads, large eyes, long “necks” and raptorial (grasping) front legs. They have very acute vision and are the only insects able to turn their heads nearly 300 degrees! This makes them very efficient predators. They are sit and wait predators; when an unwary insect gets too close, it is quickly snagged by those grasping front legs.

Most mantises are highly camouflaged, some spectacularly so. The beautiful orchid mantis, for example, comes in pink or white and looks almost exactly like an orchid petal.

We have several different species on display:

Orchid Mantis
Hymenopus coronatus

Dead Leaf Mantis
Deroplatys dessicata

Malaysian Shield Mantis
Rhombodera sp.

Carolina Mantis
Stagmomantis carolina

Giant Asian Mantis
Hierodula membranacea


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