Viewing Families in the Order "Dictyoptera" (Mantids)
Mantids (Dictyoptera) are most commonly known as Praying Mantises because of their prayer-like posture. Dictyoptera is actually a super order that consists of two orders; Termites/Cockroaches and Mantids. Mantids evolved from cockroaches in the Cretaceous period, approximately 66 million years ago. The Praying Mantis is primarily a predator and has an eyesight range of about 65 feet. Their primary source of food is insects, but larger mantises will feed on lizards, snakes, frogs, fish and even rodents. Camoflauge is their main form of protection but when confronted they also fan their wings and make a hissing sound. When mating, female Praying Mantis may eat her male partner as an act of sexual cannibalism. Praying Mantises are commonly used by organic gardeners as a way to control insects instead of using pesticides.