Praying Mantis


Life Cycle

The praying mantis goes through a life cycle called incomplete metamorphosis. It has three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. In the nymph stage, the nymphs molt up to ten times before becoming adults. The praying mantis eats the same food in all stages of their lives. Mantises live only for about six months.
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Despite all their differences, the mantis has a body like other insects. Like all insects, mantises have three main body parts and six legs. They also have two compound eyes with three simple eyes in between them. Unlike other insects, they have a triangular-shaped head. They also have two praying "arms" that they use to grasp and hold prey.
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Mantises lie in wait for their prey, and when it gets close enough, then the praying mantis reaches out and grabs the victim and starts eating. The mantis strikes in one-twentieth of a second. Every mantis relys on camouflage to hunt. Mantises eat almost anything that is smaller than them. Mantises will only eat live prey.
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Mantises have an amazing survival skill: camouflage. Every mantis has a sort of coloring on its body that helps it to blend in. Some blend in with tree bark, some blend in with flowers, and so on. Because of this, mantises are able to blend in with almost anything. Camouflage is an important part of mantis survival.
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Interesting Facts

Praying mantises can turn their head 180 degrees. Farmers welcome mantises because they eat other insects that eat crops. Mantises are typically brown or green, but can be pink, white, and other colors. If there were no mantises, then there would be a lot more insects. Three species of mantis live in Wisconsin.
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