The European mantis or Mantis religiosa is a large hemimetabolic insect in the family of the Mantidae (â€˜mantidsâ€™), which is the largest family of the order Mantodea (mantises).
Their common nameâ€”praying mantisâ€”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 â€˜raptorial legsâ€™) which is highly modified for the efficient capture and restrain of fast moving or flying prey.
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