Praying Mantis or Preying Mantis.
No matter how you spell the name...it refers to an insect that appears to be in prayer when it is not moving.
Praying mantis because it looks like it prays...and Preying mantis because it is a ruthless predator on many other animals.
The Praying mantis or Praying mantids like to catch and eat small rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, and many other insects like moths and grasshoppers, mosquitoes and flies. They have even been known to eat hummingbirds.
A Praying mantis is not dangerous to people and can be handled carefully as is shown in this picture.
Interestingly, the praying mantis is a sexual cannibal, eating its own mate fairly often.
Praying Mantis are about 2 1/2 inches long and vary in color from green to pink and brown.
- Many thousands of egg cases are sold each year to gardeners so that the hatch-ling mantis' will eat and grow up in their garden effectively eliminating or controlling the pest insects.
PRAYING MANTIS AS PETS:
- All over the US, kids catch and safely keep praying mantis as pets.