The Myths And Legends Of The Praying Mantis


Insects hold many places in our collective culture. Spiders are generally feared and shied away from. Ants are generally seen as nuisances and destroyed quickly. Caterpillars are seen with wonder as they cocoon themselves and become the butterfly, a thing of beauty and wonder that capture all our imaginations.

Yet no creature of the insect creature is so prevalent in everyday life, as still mysterious and myth shrouded as the Praying Mantis. These bug killers are still looked at through a veil of myth and wonder even though they are now prevalent on every continent in the world save Antarctica.

The ancient Chinese saw the praying mantis as a symbol of fearlessness and courage. They used the creature as a symbol for how to wage war, ‘strike fast and without hesitation.’ The Mantis has even been the inspiration behind not one, but two separate styles of martial arts combat. The creature has seen an almost worship of its movements, and the two Mantis Styles are even becoming popular in the west now as well.

Speaking of worship, did you know that the Mantis is seen as a god in two separate yet connected traditions of South Africa? Mantis and several other bugs and arachnids are seen as gods in African mythology. Meaning Seer in ancient Greek languages, the Mantis holds a place of honor in their myths as well. The Mantis is being seen as a sort of prophet or symbol of wisdom to the ancient Greeks. In Australia, native populations and even animal populations fear them and avoid their territory.

Praying mantis can be terrifying to behold with its speed (they strike faster than a human can see) and voraciousness. Large Mantis’ have been known to capture small lizards. They have been known to kill birds (even fast little hummingbirds) and feast on them as well. They are majestic predators of the first order using speed and cunning and camouflage to get it done.

Now for a few weird facts about Mantis. They can rotate their heads a full 180 degrees. It makes for a weird and amusing site. They are relatively new on the evolutionary track and serve as a good study in recent genetic evolutions. And yes a female mantis sometimes will eat their mate after the mating is done.

Today we find Praying Mantis for sale as pets or agriculture aids. They are used to control pests in crops as a natural pest control. They are also used heavily as an organic pest control, and a preventative pest control. Praying mantis pets are sought after over the entirety of the exotic animal market.

Whatever you’re reasoning for looking into one, a Praying Mantis is a fantastic and wondrous creature. Worth every bit of study and reading, and truly deserving of the myth and reverence they hold.

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