It is named for its distinctive front legs, which are bent and angled to resemble a praying position.
These insects are terrible predators by any name. They have triangular heads on a long neck or elongated thorax. They can turn their head 180 degrees and scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three simple eyes placed between them.
Well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, they ambush or patiently stalk their prey. With front legs, they latch on to their prey with reflexes so fast that they are hardly visible to the naked eye. The legs are also equipped with spikes, which are used to catch and fix the prey in place.
They eat everything from moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies and other insects are usually common on the praying mantis’s menu. An example of this is the notorious mating of an adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after or even during mating. However, this behaviour does not seem to deter males from breeding.
Females regularly deposit hundreds of eggs in a small box, which hatch into nymphs that look very similar to small versions of their parents.