You’re walking through the garden when you see it there on a leaf, blending in with its green body and large eyes. Its front legs are held together in a way that makes it appear to be praying. It’s a praying mantis, and this creature is oh so interesting…
Praying mantises, also known as mantids, are big insects with large front legs that can be used as grabbing tools! These legs have spines on them, perfect for fiercely gripping the live insects hunted and eaten by mantises.
The praying mantis has a triangular head and a long midsection, or thorax, which makes the mantis appear as if it has an elongated neck! Often brown or green in color, this sneaky critter can rotate its head 180 degrees, a handy ability when it comes to noticing nearby insects to gobble up for a meal.
But don’t think the praying mantis is a loud hunter. Quite the contrary! At times these insects quietly and patiently observe their prey, then snatch them in one lightning-fast swoop! Yikes!