Picture of praying mantis
Showing a picture of 'praying mantis'By Morph:
According to Larry Dane Brimner in his book, Praying Mantises, there are about 1800 different kinds of mantids. At first they were thought to be related to cockroaches and other people thought they were more like grasshoppers. Most entomologists now agree that Mantids are their own species. A praying mantis will shed its skin (molt) anywhere from six to nine times during its growth. A nymph, a baby mantis that has just hatched, will shed its birth sac as its very firt molting. Mantids have only one ear that it often uses to listen for bats. Bats are predators to mantids. Finally, but most interesting, is that the praying mantis is the ONLY insect that can turn its head over its shoulders to see potential prey or enemies. This photo is of a newly hatched mantis (only an hour or two old).