Category Archives: Male Praying Mantis

The Life Cycle Of The Chinese Praying Mantis

When you first see an advertisement encouraging you to buy a praying mantis for sale you may want to know a little bit about the life cycle of a praying mantis. Praying mantises have a short but very interesting lifespan. One example of a praying mantis species with an interesting lifespan is the Chinese praying mantis

The life of a Chinese praying mantis starts as one of as many as four hundred praying mantis eggs in an egg sack. This sack can be as large as a ping pong ball. This egg sack is often found attached to vegetation. This vegetation can include bushes or trees. After emerging from the egg sack Chinese praying mantises begin to eat and grow. They eat other small insects. These insect include crickets, spiders, and cockroaches. Their diet of other insects has gained them a reputation as organic pest control and many people have begun placing Chinese mantises in their gardens.

As they continue to eat the Chinese praying mantis also continues to grow. Chinese mantises can grow as long as eleven centimeters, or more than four inches. This size makes the Chinese mantis the largest one found in North America.

Even as they continue to grow Chinese mantis have to worry about predators. In its’ native habitat the Chinese mantis is hunted by birds, other mantises, and the Asian Green Hornet, but in North America the Asian Green Hornet does not exist. Even though the Chinese mantis is not hunted by the Asian Green Hornet in North America its’ population is pretty well controlled by the large bird population found in North America. This prevents the mantis from becoming an invasive species.

When the Chinese mantis mates the female often consumes the male either during or after the mating ritual. Because of this habit the female mantis tend to have a much longer lifespan and also tend to grow much larger. This behavior is also seen in most other species of praying mantis.

Since the female mantis lives longer it sometimes has been observed consuming much larger prey. This prey can include small reptiles such as lizards or frogs. Occasionally the mantis has even been seen eating small hummingbirds. If you have praying mantises and you are trying to have hummingbirds around you may want to make sure to put your bird feeder and bird bath out of reach of the praying mantis.

Now that you know more about the Chinese praying mantises life cycle hopefully you will be more informed when you see a praying mantis for sale. They can be a wonderful form of natural pest control as they are proven bug killers. Also know that you know more you’ll be able to inform your neighbors and visitors that they are harmless.

The Dark And Fascinating Mating Habits Of The Praying Mantis

The praying mantis, so named for the prayer like gesture that it’s “hands,” seem to be making when inert, is a voracious predator. People often talk of the strange, black widow like mating habits of the praying mantis. Like the females proclivity to eat the male after mating and so has come to be viewed as something of an evil seductress. The insatiable, femme fatale who lures the poor, unsuspecting male praying mantis to his inevitable doom. But is such a dark and dreary reputation deserved? Does the conjoining of male and female in the praying mantis species always end in cannibalism? Let us explore the answer below.

The first time that the mantis’ cannibalistic proclivities began to surface to the world was when scientists attempted to observed them in a laboratory setting. The researchers would proffer a captive female with a prospective male mate. They would then sit back and watch with shock and horror as the female mantis tore the poor male apart, limb by limb and then devoured it’s head.

The male had served his purpose as a mate and was therefore disposable. Nothing more or less than a warm meal. For many years this bizarre ritual was thought to be the universal way in which the praying mantis bred in the wild.

However, things could not be further from the truth and when entomologists began to observe the praying mantis in it’s natural habitat, the story tended to end quite differently; specifically, much more happily for the males. For when they were unconfined in a laboratory setting, almost all of the praying mantis mating that was observed ended with the male mantis flying away, unscathed. By all modern calculations, the sexual cannibalism observed occurs less than thirty percent of time when the male and female are in a unbound setting beyond a lab. That, for the male, is quite a good set of odds of eaten or not eaten.

The sexual ritual of the praying mantis is also quite different in the wild, as it turns out. It is a lengthy courtship, quite a romantic thing far removed from the horrid decapitations of a lab, and typically ends with both parties quite satisfied and unharmed.

Yet there is a undeniable, somewhat horrible, advantage to the female if she does decide to decapitated her unsuspecting lover. It is a strange fact and yet completely true that the brain of a praying mantis controls inhibition. A similar ganglion in the abdomen, takes over for the bodily motions involved in mantis reproduction. Therefore, if the female decapitates the males head during intercourse he will copulate to her with wild abandon.

And so what if the female is hungry? That is typically where the thirty percent comes in. If a male chooses to mate with a hungry female he is unlikely to live to bred again.