The European mantis or Mantis religiosa is a large hemimetabolic insect in the family of the Mantidae (‘mantids’), which is the largest family of the order Mantodea (mantises).
Their common name—praying mantis—is derived from the distinctive posture of the first pair of legs that can be observed in animals in repose. It resembles a praying attitude. Both males and females have elongated bodies with two pair of wings.
The most striking features that all Mantodea share are a very mobile, triangular head with large compound eyes and their first pair of legs (the ‘raptorial legs’) which is highly modified for the efficient capture and restrain of fast moving or flying prey.
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