Praying Mantis | Mantis religiosa

Mantis religiosa, better known as the praying mantis, is incredibly abundant in Konavle area. There's a bunch of them around the house, which is cool since they're one of my favorite insects. Outside Europe it is also known as European mantis, and it's probably the most widespread species of the order Mantodea, the Mantis.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Mantinae
Tribe: Mantini
Genus: Mantis
Species: Mantis religiosa

Mantis religiosa grows up to 7 cm in length, and has shades of bright green to tan. It can easily be recognized by a black-ringed spot beneath the fore coxae (bases of front legs).

Mantises are probably most well known for the beheading of the male by female after copulation, though. While it is still not surely known why they're doing this, and are they even doing it in nature (it is possible that this behaviour is caused by observer disturbing the mantis, since they are incredibly well aware of their surroundings), it's still one of the first associations most of us have when talking about the mantis. I haven't seen it myself since I get too easily distracted so I never waited long enough.
The male is easily recognized for his smaller side and brownish color, while females are normally bigger. One other way of determining the sex of a praying mantis specifically is by counting the number abdominal segments - females have six, while males have eight.

They can be kept as pets, as they are a good natural way to repel pests, or, well, at least reduce their numbers. However, they are very non-selective as to whether they're going to eat pests or beneficial insects, so be aware of that if you want to use them for pest control.

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