CLASSIFICATION OF MANTIS RELIGIOSA (PRAYING MANTIS)
KINGDOM :- ANIMALIA (Multicellular eukaryotic organisms)
PHYLUM :- ARTHROPODA (Jointed appendages.)
CLASS :- INSECTA (3 pairs of legs.)
ORDER :- PHASMATODEA (Straight wings.)
FAMILY :- MANTIDAE
GENUS :- Mantis
It is found in U.S.A. North America, Africa, South Europe and Western Asia. Most of the Indian mantis are spread over India and Malaysia region.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Mantis is commonly found in green vegetation and other garden places. It is canibolic, pugnacious and predacious.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF MANTIS RELIGIOSA (PRAYING MANTIS)
- Commonly called as praying mantis.
- Body of the animal is differentiated into head, thorax and abdomen and it is not dorsoventrally flattened.
- Eyes are large and set on extremely mobile triangular head. There are three ocelli mouth parts of biting type.
- Head contains compound eyes, a pair of antennae and biting mouth parts.
- Prothorax is elongated and fused with the head.
- Mantis is called as praying mantis because its forelegs remain clasped like folded hands during rest like in praying and thus waiting for some unwary insect to approach within striking distance.
- Middle and hind legs are elongated.
- Its pincer-like or raptorial tibia of sub-chelate forelegs are modified for grasping prey. Wings are folded flat and overlapping the sides of the body.
- Abdomen has 10 segment. Last abdominal segment contains a pair of anal cerci.
- They are pugnacious, that is, larger forms attack smaller forms and females eat males after nuptials and lay their eggs. Ovipositor is not erected.
- Eggs are laid in ootheca formed by viscid secretion, which becomes hard and eggs are arranged in chambers.
Many legends and superstitions are associated with the species M. religiosa. The ancient Greeks endowed it with supernatural powers; some of the Muslim people maintain that it prays with its face turned towards Mecca and in other countries it is called as saint. The colouration and form of the body is usually adapted to resemble parts of plants.
The insect contains clasped forelegs and all above features, hence it is praying mantis.