Praying Mantis

"Praying Mantis"



This Praying Mantis was captured using a Nikon D200 attached to a Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6g IF-ED AF-S DX VR lens in the rural town of Lopatcong, New Jersey. The praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) is named for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer.

The larger group of these insects is more properly called the praying mantids. Mantis refers to the genus mantis, to which only some praying mantids belong. By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long “neck,” or elongated thorax. Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.

Typically green or brown and well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, mantis lie in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.

Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of unwanted mantid attention. However, the insects will also eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter males from reproduction.



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    13 Thoughts to “Praying Mantis”

    1. Marta112

      Cool wildlife photo

    2. The Twizzlecaps (@TheTwizzlecaps)

      RT @classwatchuk: Great #photography – there is something quite enthralling about these creatures #Photo

    3. @SixLegsNews

      Ridley Scott will never design a better beast than this. #insects #mantis

    4. @Luminaria98

      “@Photobug52: Praying Mantis”

    5. Deborah (@dgdreamin)

      Incredible macro! RT @Photobug52: Praying Mantis

    6. Billy Size Rogers (@Whatsizebilly)

      Praying Mantis

    7. @richiest

      As always, beautiful photos. Great information too.

    8. @myLondontours

      Praying Mantis via @wibiya WHAT A GRACE! WHAT A BEAUTY! #photography #nature

    9. Rolly

      Amazing photo. I like the info as well.

    10. Lisa

      I remember them in Thassos, Greece. Quite eerie really. Just eyeing up the people as they walked by. Some really quite big too. Love them .. interesting critters 😀

    11. Alan S. Hochman

      Hi Lisa
      I agree, they are very eerie looking critters 🙂

    12. Charlie@Seattle Trekker

      An absolutely amazing photo…I love the detail.

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    Alan S Hochman Photography