Praying Mantis Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Praying Mantis
  • Common Name: Praying Mantis
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Superorder: Dictyoptera
  • Order: Mantodea
  • Family: 21 Different Familes

15 Praying Mantis Facts for Kids

  1. Mantises are a large group of insects that are members of the Mantodea order.
  2. They common name for these insects is praying mantis, which is due to their appearance.
  3. There are over 2,400 species of insects that are given the common name praying mantis.
  4. Praying mantises are closely related to cockroaches and termites.
  5. Most praying mantis species are carnivores and ambush their prey. There are a few species that actively hunt prey.
  6. Large species of praying mantises can eat prey as big as a lizard, mice and very small birds.
  7. The average life span of a praying mantis is one year.
  8. The average size of a praying mantis is between one and six inches, depending on the species.
  9. The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is the largest species of praying mantis in North America.
  10. The Bolbe pygmaea praying mantis is the smallest in the world, reaching only 0.4 inch in length as an adult.
  11. Female praying mantises will sometimes eat their mate after copulation (mating).
  12. A praying mantis can turn its head a complete 180 degrees.
  13. Praying mantises only have one ear, and it is located on the underside of their body.
  14. Praying mantises are very popular pet in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
  15. The Northern Praying Mantis and Southern Praying Mantis are two forms of martial arts that were developed based on the movement and actions of the praying mantis.

Additional Resources on Praying Mantises

  • The Praying Mantis – Find out more information about the praying mantis on the Texas A&M Field Guide to Common Texas Insects website.
  • Praying Mantis – Discover more cool facts about praying mantises on the National Geographic website.
  • Mantis – Wikipedia – Learn about the Mantis order, which contains praying mantises on the Wikipedia website.