Mantis religiosa is a mantis species native to temperate areas of Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but has spread around the world and is now well established across the United States and into Canada. More commonly called European mantis, it is a favourite pet worldwide. It is a species of the 'praying mantis' category. praying mantis have got this name owing to their typical 'prayer-like' posture with folded forelimbs.
The females can be as long as 10 cm in length. Usually the males are smaller than the females. Although a carnivore and an impressive predator, this mantis is completely harmless to humans.
In most mantis species, the males are victims of sexual cannibalism. Females are known to eat the males after mating. The green praying mantis can swivel its head nearly 180 degrees to spot potential prey.
The European mantis has shades of bright green to tan. This arthropod is usually well camouflaged in its surroundings and is difficult to see also because of its usually motionless stance.
The curious way it turns its head to look at you over its shoulders is quite unique amongst insects. The males are more slender and have longer wings than the females. The males have long antennae, the female has shorter ones.