Most of the 2000 plus species of the Praying Mantis hail from Asia with only 20 species found in North America. Two species, the Chinese Mantis and European Mantis, were purposely introduced to control pests in farms and gardens. The praying mantis has excellent eyesight and can see up to about 50 feet away. Their eyes are made up of tiny compounds.It is believed that the female mantis will eat the male after mating since the protein helps in egg development. How’s that for male sacrifice? The praying mantis is the only insect that can rotate its alien-like head almost completely around! Mantises are exclusively predatory. Insects form the primary diet, but larger species have been known to prey on small scorpions, lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, and even rodents; they will prey upon any species small enough to successfully capture and devour. Most species of mantis are known to engage in cannibalism. The majority of them are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray near.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography