How Long Does A Praying Mantis Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-6 Months

A praying mantis’ meaning and its name is derived from its specialty: it has prominent front legs folded towards each other, which creates a gesture that suggests devotion and praying. They are considered soulful and fascinating insects with various interesting features and properties. A praying mantis is an ambush and a ferocious predator with very fast moves.

The European Mantis is considered an archetype of mantids. Mantids have a unique feature that they can turn their heads 180 degrees and detect their surroundings. Mantids primarily prey on insects like crickets, flies, moths, and beetles. Their forelegs have spikes that help them being skilled predators in snaring their prey.

How Long Does A Praying Mantis Live?

Females lay hundreds of eggs in the Praying mantis’ nest, and with time the eggs or the nymphs hatch, and little versions of their parents come out. The praying mantis’ life cycle or praying mantis’ lifespan is up to a year in the wild.

They have a huge appetite which makes them accomplished predators. They are skilled hunters who are deadly to their prey as they have needle-like projections on their legs and also because of their ability to camouflage. A praying mantis plays a very major role in nature and the ecosystem.

There are several benefits of a praying mantis to farmers as a praying mantis preys on insects, which helps pest control for crops and plants. The Chinese Mantis, as well as the European Mantis, were both introduced to North America and Canada to control pests.

‍A praying mantis is a type of predatory insect that is generally of brown or green color. They are a type of insect that comes under the class of Arthropoda, and thus, praying mantis belongs to the class of arthropods. The praying mantis has over 1,800 species in the world, but there is no such calculation or estimation done on the value of how many praying mantids are alive in the world.

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Praying mantises are found in several types of habitats worldwide where winters are not too harsh and there is an ample amount of vegetation. However, they are generally found in warmer climatic regions, mainly tropical latitudes, as most of their species live in the tropical rainforest. Some are even found in subtropical latitudes. Moreover, they are also found in the meadowlands, deserts, and grasslands.

Mantis TypeLifespan
European mantis4-6 months
Orchid mantis3-4 months

Why Does A Praying Mantis Live So Long?

Praying mantises generally live alone, but they can be grouped to fulfill some needs, such as providing enough live food to avoid cannibalism (that is, they kill and eat each other) and sufficient space.

The life expectancy of praying mantids is dependant on their species and size, as generally, females live longer than males. Moreover, the smaller ones live for four to eight weeks, whereas the larger ones may live up to four to six months. The average lifespan of the praying mantis is one year; that is, they can live up to a year in suitable conditions.

Praying mantids’ mating usually begins during the fall for temperate climates, and in tropical regions, it may take place during any season of the year. Mantises have reproductive organs located at the edge of their abdomen. Many female praying mantises are flightless. Females attract their male mates with the help of a species-specific chemical called pheromone, and once both their intensities match, they are ready to mate.

The reproduction and mating of praying mantises start with males’ courtship, where the male performs or dances in front of the female mantises in the wild. Female mantises deposit fertilized praying mantis eggs which range from 10-400 eggs, with the help of an ovipositor present at the tip of their abdomen. They place their eggs securely in twigs, stems, or leaves, with every egg packed in a praying mantis egg case identical to Styrofoam.

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Their legs have spikes for catching and pinning prey in their place and so their legs play a major role in their accomplishments. Praying mantises have a unique feature: they can rotate their heads up to 180 degrees, which is used to snare their prey. Most of the adult praying mantids have two wings, which help them fly. The outer wings are known as tegmina which are leathery and narrow.

Conclusion

Praying mantises are predatory insects with bent front legs and triangular heads present at the end of their long neck. Their head has two antennae or feelers. The praying mantis’ eyes include two large compound eyes and three small and simple eyes. They are usually of brown or green color, but they can camouflage and blend into the environment.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4534701
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%252FBF00297812
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