Do Praying Mantis Eat Wasps? (7 Interesting Facts)

One question that sometimes comes up in forums where praying mantis issues are discussed is as to whether the mantises eat wasps. In this article, we explore that subject – of whether praying mantis eat wasps.

Do praying mantis eat wasps? Yes, praying mantis do eat wasps. Mantises usually ambush the wasps, grab them using their strong forelegs, immobilize them and then proceed to eat them bit by bit.

It is also worth mentioning that the wasps sometimes also eat the praying mantises – especially the smaller mantises. So the relationship between wasps and mantises is complex: as both are capable of eating each other.

Do praying mantis eat wasps
Do Praying Mantis Eat Wasps?

In most cases though, the mantises – which have the camouflage advantage and faster reflexes – are the ones that end up eating the wasps.

But there are people who tend to be skeptical about this phenomenon of mantises eating wasps. They doubt whether the praying mantises really have the ability to kill and eat wasps.

To such people, the scenario of a praying mantis having a wasp for lunch is hard to visualize.

They keep on wondering, how will praying mantis eat wasps, given the aggressive nature of wasps? In fact, do wasps have any natural predators (like the alleged praying mantises) in the first place – considering the wasps’ aggressive nature?

So such doubts exist: which is why we should start by finding out whether praying mantis can really eat wasps.


Can Praying Mantis Eat Wasps?

Praying mantis have the ability to eat wasps.

There are many cases in which people have witnessed praying mantises eating wasps with their very own eyes.

Often, you will hear someone proclaiming ‘I watched a Praying Mantis catch a wasp today and proceed to eat it’.

You can even hear bizarre reports, like one where a praying mantis cleared out an entire softball sized wasp nest!

Granted, some aspects of the whole affair – like that in which a praying mantis eats wasp’s face while it is still alive’ are unbelievable.

But the basic fact remains that praying mantises have the ability to eat wasps. Praying mantis do eat wasps.


How Do Praying Mantis Eat Wasps?

Most people know that the wasp is a fairly aggressive insect. Yet here we are, saying that praying mantis do eat those wasps. This naturally induces many interesting questions.

Key among them is, how do mantis eat wasps? Like, to be more specific, how do praying mantises kill wasps, so that they can feed on them?

Thus the genesis of these questions is in the understanding that wasps, just like bees, are fairly aggressive insects. Yet praying mantis are said to eat them.

One surely has to wonder, how do praying mantis eat bees and wasps, considering the wasps’ and bees’ aggressive natures?

For now, we won’t comment on the bees. Our focus is on the wasps. And we want to know, how do praying mantises eat wasps?

In actual fact, there are two issues to untangle here. The first is that of how the mantises kill the wasps. And the second is that of how the mantises subsequently eat the wasps.

Do praying mantis eat wasps
Do Praying Mantis Eat Wasps Frequently?

How can a praying mantis kill a wasp? This is usually by ambushing it, then grabbing it and smothering it using the mantis’ strong forearms.

And how can a praying mantis eat a wasp? This is by using the forearm to draw the mantis to its mouthpart, with the mantis’ mouthpart then biting deeply into the mantis flesh.

To be sure, the smothering of the wasps using the mantis’ strong forearms doesn’t always kill the wasps. But it immobilizes them fully, after which the mantis proceed to feed on them.

So the mantis may feed on the wasp while the wasp is still alive, but highly immobile. The mantis usually eats everything, except the toughest body parts (like the wasp’s spikes as well as its stinger).


Do Praying Mantis Like Wasps?

After learning that praying mantis really do eat wasps, the question that follows is on whether the mantis like the wasps.

And the answer is ‘yes’ – praying mantis like wasps, though they may find the task of hunting for them taxing. There are other easier prey for mantises. But if wasps are easily available, mantises don’t hesitate from hunting them.


Can I Feed Wasps To Praying Mantis?

If you are able to capture good quality live wasps for your mantis, then the mantis may certainly eat them.

Just remember that the mantis won’t touch wasps that are already dead. So you have to capture live wasps, then present them to your mantis.

Avoid bigger wasps. Those can hurt the mantis as it struggles to devour them – or worse still, they can eat the mantis itself! Only provide small wasps, which are manageable for the mantis.

Take care of yourself while trying to capture wasps for your mantis (if you really have to). Otherwise you could get stung.

Here, one may venture to ask, can praying mantis eat wasps daily? The answer is ‘yes’ – if the wasps are the only food that is available. But the mantises prefer more variety in their diets.

Thus feeding a mantis exclusively on wasps day in day out may not be proper.

Wasps are quite big insects. So, when feeding a mantis on wasps, it is essential to know how much wasps is too much for praying mantis. Otherwise you could end up overfeeding, with potentially nasty outcomes.


Final Verdict – Do Praying Mantis Eat Wasps

Praying mantis do eat wasps. Relying on their camouflage advantage and fast reflexes, mantises are able to pounce on the unsuspecting wasps and eat them.

Usually, the mantises grab the wasps using their rather powerful forelimbs. Then they immobilize them, before proceeding to feed on them.

If you keep pet mantises, you can consider feeding them on wasps. That is as long as you are able to capture high quality live wasps. The wasps have to live: as mantises won’t eat dead wasps.

Do praying mantis eat wasps
Do Praying Mantis Eat Wasps Daily?

It is also worth noting that in some cases, if the wasps catch praying mantises off-guard, they can proceed to eat them too.

Therefore if you have to allow your mantis to eat wasps, give it small ones: which won’t turn around and eat the mantis.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet mantis a good and comfortable life!

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