Praying mantis

Large compound eyes. Head distinct from thorax, highly mobile. Chewing mouthparts visible. Front legs held in a "praying" manner. Two pairs of wings. Colour and pattern highly variable. Predators of other insects. Female chews off head of male during mating. Eggs laid in frothy egg case from which young hatch. Young look like ants with abdomen curved upwards.
Throughout southern Africa, but absent from the arid West.


(en) Praying mantis
(sc) Mantodea
(nl) Bidsprinkhaan
(af) Hottentosgot