I saw this gorgeous pic of an African Praying Mantid on ettf.net, and couldn't resist posting it. In fact, I was so fascinated that I broke out the Britannica, and researched a bit online. So, here are a couple of things I found out about our friend the Mantid:
- The Praying Mantid is called a "God Horse" in West Indian cultures, and is also occasionally referred to as the devil's horse.
- The Mantid is one of a few types of insect that can rotate its head.
- It's the state insect of both Connecticut and South Carolina.
- Females often eat the males after they mate, and then can lay anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs.
- Mantids feed exclusively on live insects and sometimes on hummingbirds! (The pictures here are disgusting...)
- I also learned that Britannica entries occasionally end on what they classify as jokes, "Since all mantids are ferocious carnivores, "preying" rather than "praying" may better describe them." You can't fault them for trying.