Are Praying Mantis Rare? (7 Interesting Facts)

If you are considering taking up a praying mantis as a pet, you may want to know whether the mantises are rare – or if it will be just another commonplace pet. Read on, to find out.

Are praying mantis rare? In nature, praying mantis are abundant in most places and therefore can’t be termed as ‘rare’. However, in spite of their abundance, they are not easily seen, because of their camouflage capabilities.

On the other hand, as pets, praying mantis are relatively rare – as not very many people keep them.

Therefore if you are thinking of adopting a praying mantis as a pet, go ahead – knowing that it will be a unique, relatively rare pet.

Are praying mantis rare
Are Praying Mantis Rare?


Is Praying Mantis Common?

In nature, praying mantises are quite abundant in most places. However, they are rarely seen (on account of their camouflage capabilities) – which makes many people think that they are rare.

It is worth appreciating that there are well over 2,000 species of praying mantis globally. 

In almost every healthy terrestrial ecosystem, you will mantises. The mantises help in controlling the populations of smaller insects, as they prey on them. On the other side of the equation, the praying mantises also serve as food for bigger animals –such as birds and spiders.


Are Praying Mantis Endangered?

There are well over 2,000 species of praying mantis in the world. None of them meets the criteria for being referred to as an endangered species.

An endangered species is one that is at risk of becoming extinct due to various factors. So far, none of the 2,000+ praying mantis species is at risk of becoming extinct. Hence none can be said to be endangered.

However, a trend is emerging where invasive praying mantis species are increasingly outcompeting the native species. 

In the US for instance, we see the native Carolina praying mantis facing unfair competition from the bigger, more aggressive Chinese and European praying mantises.

It may eventually get to a point where such native praying mantis species become endangered. For now though, none of the mantis species is in the endangered category.


Are Praying Mantis Rare?

In most places, praying mantises are not rare. They tend to be abundant, though they are not easily seen because they are good at camouflage.

Of course, in concrete-based urban settings (where the sorts of insects praying mantises would feed on are not easily found), the numbers of the mantises also tends to be commensurately low. 

Therefore in such places, praying mantises can be indeed rare. That is unless people living in such settings happen to introduce the mantises as pets.

But in the countryside or in suburban areas where homes have backyard gardens, praying mantises are unlikely to be rare.

Their abundance notwithstanding though, the praying mantises can prove to be rather hard to see.


Why Are Mantis Rare To See?

So far, we have said that praying mantises tend to be abundant in most places – yet they are rarely seen. This paradox naturally gives rise to an interesting question: on why exactly they are hard to see, if they are so abundant.

The reason as to why praying mantis are rare to see is in the fact that they are very good at camouflage. They therefore tend to blend in with the environments they find themselves in.

For instance, if the praying mantises are in leafy vegetation, they will usually be green in color – making it very hard for someone to pick them out. If they are in dusty environments, they will tend to be brown, again making it very hard to pick them out visually.

The camouflage is very important, as it helps the mantises in laying effective ambushes for the insects they feed on.


Are Praying Mantises Rare As Pets?

As pets, praying mantis are relatively rare. The numbers of people keeping mantises as pets are growing by the day. But for sure, mantises are yet to become as common as, say, cats or dogs. 

Therefore they make for rare/unique pets.

There are several reasons as to why relatively few people keep mantises as pets. Those include lack of awareness of the fact that praying mantises can actually be kept as pets. There is also the fact that many people think that mantises are hard to care for, even as others are put off by the mantises’ relatively short lifespans.


Are Praying Mantis Rare In The Us?

In the USA, praying mantises are not rare.

There are at least 20 praying mantis species that are native to the USA. In addition to those, there are lots of other exotic mantis species that have been introduced to the US in various ways.

In most parts of the USA, you don’t have to search too hard or too far to find a praying mantis.

Of course, there are parts of the USA that have over time grown into concrete jungles. In such places, praying mantis may prove to be a little harder to find. This is due to lack of the sort of vegetation that typically serves as habitat for the mantises.

Thus in trying to find out whether praying mantis are common or rare in the USA, you have to consider specific locations. There are definitely parts of the USA where praying mantises are more abundant than others.

For instance, if one asks, are praying mantis rare in California, the answer will tend to be a resounding ‘no’. This is because most parts of California have the sort of vegetation that tends to harbor praying mantises in abundance.


Which Color Praying Mantis Is Rare?

Though praying mantises tend to be generally abundant, there are certain colors of them that are rather rare. The brown praying mantis is regarded as the one that is somewhat rare. 

Other rarer praying mantis colors are pink, white and black.


What Happens If You Find A Praying Mantis?

According to most belief systems, a praying mantis is a sign of good luck. Therefore if you happen to find a praying mantis, it means that something good is likely to happen to you.

Of course, there are few belief systems in which a praying mantis is seen as a sign of bad luck. If you subscribe to that way of thinking, finding a praying mantis would be a sign that something bad is likely to happen.


Is It Good Luck To See A Praying Mantis?

As we have already noted, in certain belief systems, sighting a praying mantis is taken as a sign of good tidings.

In objective terms, seeing a praying mantis can be regarded as ‘good luck’. This is because though the praying mantises are abundant globally, they are not easily seen. That is due to their camouflage capabilities, as explained earlier.

Against that background, if you happen to see a praying mantis in spite of its camouflage, that is good luck. The mantises are so well camouflaged that chances of picking them out visually are rather low.

Then again, one may argue that your ability to see the mantis is simply a sign of you having particularly good eyesight. Even in that case, this would still be a form of good luck – considering the numbers of people who struggle with eyesight issues.


Is It Illegal To Kill Praying Mantis?

In most parts of the world, it is not illegal to kill a praying mantis. In the USA specifically, there is no law against the killing of praying mantises.

As noted earlier, none of the praying mantis species is considered to be endangered. Therefore none enjoys the sort of legal protection that would make killing it illegal. 

Indeed, at times, we have seen experts encouraging people to kill the invasive mantises, in a bid to protect the native mantis species.

Of course, if the praying mantis in question is one that someone else keeps as a pet, the rules of engagement may be different. Killing the mantis in this case would be an affront to the owner, potentially attracting severe legal consequences.


Final Verdict

Praying mantises are found in abundance within most places, and they can therefore not be regarded as rare.

What makes people imagine that praying mantises are ‘rare’ is because they are not easily seen. This is because the mantises tend to blend in very well with their environment, the camouflage making it very hard to pick them out visually.

As pets though, praying mantises are relatively rare. This is because the people who keep them are not very many – which makes them quite unique pets, worth showing off with pride.

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