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Praying Mantis

Identify It >   Invertebrate Section >   Praying Mantis >

Scientific name:  Mantis religiosa

Size:  Females up to 80mm, males up to 60mm

Distribution:  Not resident in the UK

Months seen:  July to November

Life span:  Up to 10 months

Habitat:  Warm, dry meadows and areas of rough grassland

Food:  Invertebrates

Special features:  The praying mantis has a long thin body and a triangular head with large eyes.  The front legs are long, and equipped with sharp spines designed for catching, restraining and crushing prey.

Mantis religiosa is the commonest species of praying mantis found in Europe.  The body colour can be green or brown.  The male is slimmer than the female, and the female will sometimes eat the male during mating.  This extra bit of protein for the female helps with the development of the eggs.

When alarmed the praying mantis can make a hissing sound by rubbing the abdomen against the wings.

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