Praying Mantis - Mantis religiosa

Scientific Name: Mantis religiosa (Order Dictyoptera, suborder Mantodea, family Mantidae).

English Name: Praying Mantis (Mantid family).

French Name: La Mante religieuse (='religious mantis').

A female Praying Mantis consumes a female bush-cricket Ruspolia nitidula.
5 Key Characters:
  • can be green or brown.
  • males are much smaller and more slender than females.
  • flies well but usually hunts other insects by laying in wait before pouncing and grabbing with their formidible forelegs.
  • raises and opens front legs in a threat display when disturbed. Can also hiss.
  • good vision and will respond to any movement by watching alertly.
Lookalikes: Stick insect Clonopsis gallica, which is very much more slender and not as common.

Habitat: Rough grassland, scrub, gardens.

Adult Active Period: July-August-September-October-November. Overwinters as an egg in a mousse like eggcase attached to grass stalk or fencepost.

Status: Common.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

A female Praying Mantis consumes a Devil's Coach Horse beetle Ocypus olens on a farm track near Chaumussay.

A female Praying Mantis on a pavement footpath in Preuilly sur Claise.

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