Mantises are predatory insects that are known to be very aggresive and ruthless when it comes to hunting and even mating. These insects are very easy to recognize, mainly because of their bizarre “praying” posture and¬†not to mention their highly evolved forelegs that specialize in killing.

Mantises are generally active during the day (diurnal), and most adults are capable of flying.

Although generally well camouflaged by their body colours; when threatened, mantises tend to spread their forelegs and wings so that they appear larger in attempts to deter predators.

Read more about this efficient hunter below!

Praying mantis

#1. A common Praying Mantis. Note the unique, triangular head, the unique “praying” posture, and of course, the sharp spines of its forelegs- specialized for immobilizing and killing preys.


Taste my blade!

#2. A mantis cleaning its foreleg spines. The diet of mantises changes with its age and size, feeding primarily on small insects at first, and gradually moving on to large preys including frogs, snakes, geckos and even birds!


Moss mantis- Haania sp.

#3. A Moss Mantis Nymph (Haania sp.). Mantises are very skilled at camouflaging themselves, whether among mosses, leaves, dead leaves or even flowers. Virtually unseen, these predators patiently wait for preys unlucky enough to cross their paths.



#4. A beautiful, green mantis. Found this beauty in a garden. After photographing it for awhile I noticed why mantises are so popular among Macro Photographers- they don’t really move much, and they will almost certainly “attack” your camera- resulting in great poses :p



** Identification of the subjects in this page are tentative and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

** All photos shown on this page were taken by Tan Ji. Please do not use or copy these photos without permission. However, I welcome interested users to read Images- Terms of Use for more details.