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.