The Praying Mantis

So holy it don't need church! By: Olivia Gorom

Integumentary System

Praying Mantis Sheds its Skin

A few days before molting, the mantis will hang upside down and won't eat. Prior to its molting sometimes a white wash can be seen over the body of the mantis. When the mantis is becoming an adult, you can see that the wing buds (location where the wings grow when the mantis is still young) are swollen. After all these signs occur on the mantis it will loose its outer layer of skin and have a new one underneath.


Mantises use camouflage to blend in with the foliage both to avoid predators, and to better capture their prey. Various species have evolved to not only blend with the foliage, but to mimic it, appearing as either living or dead leaves, sticks, tree bark, blades of grass, flowers, or even stones!
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Skeletal And Muscular

Skeletal System of Baby Praying Mantis'

Mantis babies an exoskeleton, which is a skeleton on the outside of its body. These skeletons are flexible and allow for some growth, yet they themselves do not grow. When the insect baby becomes too large, it sheds the exoskeleton and forms a new one. The process of losing the exoskeleton is called molting.

Little mantis' will lose this exoskeleton up to ten times, depending on the type of mantis they are. Every time they molt they grow more, until they are as large as they will become.

Some Mantis's have extremely flexible necks and can rotate their heads 180 degrees.

Muscular System

Humans have three types of muscle and they are skeletal, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle. Insects on the other hand only two types of muscle, skeletal and visceral. Visceral muscle in insects is the same as smooth muscle in humans. In insects, visceral muscles are associated with the movement of internal organs such as the esophagus, the ovaries and the Malpighian tubules.
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The Nervous System

Mantis' use Nervous System to Catch Prey

When catching prey, the mantis turns its head and causes a message to be sent to the central nervous system which sends a signal to the forelegs about the distance and size it's victim. This allows for precision in deciding the range and time at which to strike.

Mantis Braniacs

A Mantis brain may have between three and ten thousand neurons depending on the species. They are decently intelligent.

Mantids in Books!

"In several elegant experiments--on the moth, the cockroach, and the praying mantis--Roeder shows how stimulus and behavior are related through the nervous system and suggests that the insect brain appears to control behavior by determining which of the various built-in activity patterns will appear in a given situation." This quote is on the back of the book Nerve Cells and Insect Behavior by Kenneth Roeder.

Fun Facts

  • In many mantids the location for nerve tissues is in the insects abdomen.
  • Mantids have a Tympanic structure for sound detection.
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Respiratory System

The praying mantis breathes very differently from a vertebrae. It takes in oxygen through its sides. These holes are called spiracles. The spiracles connect to tracheal tubes that transform the oxygen into a clear liquid like blood when it is put into the mantis' cells. CO2 is produced as a result of this and exits the body in the opposite direction.

Forced Exhalation

The Mantids can force exhalation by closing some of their spiracles and flexing their abdomens.

Circulatory System

The Mantids have What?!

Mantids have a network of internal tubes, called tracheae, to deliver oxygen to the tissues. Tracheae connect with air through openings in the exoskeleton called spiracles.

Open Circulatory System

Mantids circulatory systems move nutrients and wastes in a fluid called hemolymph, which is pumped into and out of internal chambers surrounding the organs, an arrangement called an open circulatory system.
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Excretory and Digestion Systems

Picky Praying Mantis

Mantids are picky feeders, only eating live
prey, or prey that is moving, and appears alive. Mantids are diurnal, which means they eat
primarily during the day. An attacking mantid "undulates", and sways just
before a strike.


Varying on the species,
you can see what diet preferences are. Some species only eat "soft bodied
bugs", insects that can be easily devoured. While some species will eat
anything from small birds to reptiles.


Waste and other excess materials, travel out of the Mantis through it's clear blood along with CO2.

Reproduction for the Praying Mantis


Female mantids held in captivity often resort to cannibalism during mating. The females initially bite off the heads of their male partners before they actually start the process of mating.


In the wild, the mating and reproduction of mantises begins with a courtship where the male dances in front of the female. If the female’s eggs become fertile, she then lays her eggs during the fall season and places them in a leaf and she covers it with a protective sheath which looks a lot like Styrofoam.


The female then lays between 10 and 400 eggs, depending on the species. In a few species, the mother guards the eggs.
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A Whole Lot of WORKS CITED

Reproductive Works Cited

"Praying Mantis Facts." TITLE RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

"The Praying Mantis." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

Works Cited

"Science Informer." Praying Mantis. Scribner and Sons, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

Circulatory System Works Cited

Biology Reference." Insect. Advameg Inc, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

Works Cited for Respiratory System

Team, Ben. "How Does a Praying Mantis Breathe?" Animals. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <>.

Ebeling, Walter. "Chapter 4 Classes of Arthropod Pests of the Urban Community." Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 4] Classes of Arthropod Pests of the Urban Community. Entomology UC Riverside, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <>.

Works Cited

"DRAFT: Insect Anatomy: Structure & Function." Welcome to BugGuide.Net! - BugGuide.Net. Iowa State University Entomology, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <>.

Patterson, John. "Praying Mantis." The Evolution of the Skeletal System. Weebly, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

"Praying Mantis - All About The Praying Mantis - Insects." Praying Mantis - All About The Praying Mantis - Insects. Nature Let's Discover!, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

Works Cited For Nervous System

Works Cited

"Mantis." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <>.

Neal, JJ. "The Ear of the Mantis." Living With Insects Blog. Word Press, 20 Dec. 2011. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <>.

"Teaching Treasures." Praying Mantis. Teaching Treasures Publications, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <>.

Thomas M. Greiner, Assistant Professor of Anatomy / Physical Anthropology, New York Chiropractic College. "Re: How Big Is a Praying Mantis Brain and How Smart Is It ?" Re: How Big Is a Praying Mantis Brain and How Smart Is It ? MadSci Network, 17 June 2007. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <>.