5 minutes to read | Updated for 2018
What’s In This Guide
What is a Praying Mantis? The praying mantids, or praying mantises, are carnivorous insects that belong to the family Mantidae. There are about 2,000 species of mantids.
The largest are the Tenodera and the Archimantis, which are six inches long! The smallest praying mantis is the Bolbe pygmaea, which is only 2/5 of an inch, or one centimeter. Unbelievably, some scientists agree that the mantis is closely related to the cockroach. The name “mantis” comes from the Greek word for “prophet” or “soothsayer.” The Carolina mantid is a common insect of Eastern United States. The European and Chinese species were introduced to the Northeastern U.S. about 75 years ago as garden predators in hopes of overtaking the native pest population.
Kingdom – Animal
Phylum – Arthropoda
Class – Insecta
Order – Dictyoptera
Family – Mantidae
Genus – Stagomantis
Species – carolina
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