One of the questions that people tend to have regarding praying mantis is as to whether they (the praying mantis) recognize their owners. This article explores that subject.
Folks who keep praying mantises as pets often wonder whether the mantises recognize them or not.
The way the praying mantises react to their owners gives them the impression that the mantises may be recognizing them.
But there are also those who think that insects of this size may not really have adequate intelligence to recognize their owners.
So you end up with two factions here. One faction of praying mantis keepers believes that the mantises are capable of recognizing them.
The other faction of praying mantis keepers believes that the mantises are not capable of recognizing them. What then is the true position?
Do praying mantis recognize their owners? Yes, praying mantis seem to be able to recognize their owners in some cases. They react in a special way when their owners come around them, and when their owners handle them. This shows that they recognize their owners.
Saying that, however, may not be enough to persuade the people who belong to the faction which believes that praying mantises can’t recognize their owners.
In fact, there are those who doubt whether praying mantises are capable of recognizing humans at all. So we better start by establishing whether praying mantises can recognize humans at all.
Do Mantis Recognize Humans?
Praying mantises seem to be capable of recognizing humans. They may not perceive them as ‘humans’ of course. Certainly, they don’t know that those are called ‘humans’.
But they seem to nonetheless be capable of perceiving humans, and differentiating them from other entities.
When humans approach praying mantis, they tend to react differently from how they react when other entities approach them.
This leads to the conclusion that praying mantis are capable of recognizing humans.
It is also worth noting that praying mantis seem to find humans interesting.
And that leads to a question on why do mantids (praying mantises) seem to find humans interesting? This surely has to be because they recognize humans as somewhat special entities.
How Do Praying Mantis Recognize Humans?
So far, we have said that praying mantis are capable of recognizing humans. This leads to another interesting question: on how exactly the mantises are able to recognize humans.
How can a praying mantis recognize humans, seeing how much bigger (and complex) the humans are, in comparison to a mantis?
It would seem that the main sense through which praying mantises are able to recognize humans is that of sight. These are insects with very good eyesight, and the praying mantises apparently see in 3D.
They therefore seem to be able to recognize the human form, and differentiate it (appearance-wise) from other entities.
That the praying mantis is able to do this can seem like a major intellectual feat. It can leave one wondering, is the praying mantis the smartest insect? And indeed, there are those who believe that it is!
Do Praying Mantis Recognize Their Owners?
So far, we have been focusing our attention on the question of whether praying mantis can recognize humans in general.
We now need to go a step further, and find out whether the praying mantis can recognize their owners in particular.
In that regard, we need to start by asking ourselves, can praying mantis recognize individuals? And the answer seems to be ‘yes’. This is because they seem to react differently to different individuals.
This then suggests that the praying mantis may be capable of recognizing/differentiating individuals.
As to whether praying mantis recognize their owners specifically, the answer still seems to be in the affirmative. The praying mantis typically behave differently when their owners are around, and when their owners hold them.
So this suggests that the praying mantis recognize their owners, and differentiate them from other people.
How Do Praying Mantis Recognize Their Owners?
Earlier, we said that praying mantis are able to recognize their owners. The subsequent logical question there is on exactly how does your mantis know who you are?
In more general terms, how exactly do praying mantis recognize their owners?
The main sense through which praying mantis recognize their owners seems to be that of sight.
Thus when the owners are feeding them, handling them or interacting with them in other ways, the praying mantis take note of how they look.
With time, they come to recognize their owners.
This may lead to a question on how can a praying mantis remember you as its owner? And this may be on account of features you have, especially in your hands through which you handle and otherwise interact with the praying mantis.
What Evidence Is There That Praying Mantis Recognize Their Owners?
Evidence that praying mantis recognize their owners is in the fact that they seem to react differently when their owners are around, or when their owners handle them.
So with their owners, they react differently. That is ‘differently’ from how they normally act when other people are around, when other people handle them… and so on.
When its owner is around, a praying mantis may tend to rush toward him. And it may perk itself up, as if it wants its owner to handle it. This actually seems eerily similar to how a dog rushes to its owner, and perks itself up to be petted.
The praying mantis moves towards its owner. Then it positions itself to be handled…
Thus the fact that they seem to react differently to their owners is the evidence that mantises recognize their owners.
Do Praying Mantis Bond With Their Owners?
Firstly, we need to ask ourselves, do mantis bond with humans generally? Or are praying mantis social towards humans generally?
And apparently, the answer is ‘yes’ – considering how the praying mantises react to humans.
Then we need to go further, and focus on whether the praying mantis bond with their owners specifically. The core question here is, do praying mantis love their owners?
To answer that, we need to get a bit more abstract, and ask ourselves, are praying mantis capable of feeling emotion and affection like humans?
Let’s start with the first portion of the question: can praying mantis feel emotions? The answer seems to be ‘yes’ – given how their moods seem to change. Sure, they may not feel emotions as acutely as humans.
They may also not be capable of having abstract understandings of emotions. But they seem to be nonetheless capable of experiencing them: at least instinctually.
As for them feeling affection, this too seems to be something they are capable of doing. Otherwise why are praying mantis friendly to humans, if not for their affection for them?
Or think about it this way: what does it mean when a praying mantis sits on you (yet it knows you could also be a predator to it)? Does it not mean that the mantis has bonded with you to an extent that it now trusts you?
In the final analysis, we come to the conclusion that praying mantis are often able to bond with their owners.
How Do Praying Mantis Bond With Their Owners?
Praying mantis normally bond with their owners when the owners are feeding them, handling them and interacting with them in other ways.
With time, pet mantises come to view their human owners as benefactors, and not potential predators. Then they start bonding with them.
Here, someone may ask, how do you befriend a praying mantis? And the answer is by feeding it, providing it water and generally handling it nicely.
The latter bit, about ‘handling’ can be a bit contentious though. Do praying mantises like being held? The answer is mostly ‘yes’ – provided that the people handling them are people they (the mantises) have come to trust.
There are also those who may ask, how do praying mantis show affection towards their owners? And this seems to be mostly by way of moving towards the owners.
It is also by positioning themselves in such ways as to suggest that they want their owners to hold them.
Once you find a praying mantis behaving in these ways towards you, you need to know that you have bonded well with it. It is showing you affection.
But don’t expect a praying mantis to start showing you affection immediately you adopt it as a pet.
In the early days after adopting a pet praying mantis, it may be very cautious about you. It will typically recoil upon sensing your presence.
But once you earn its trust, it may even get to a point of always moving towards you when it senses your presence (unless it is molting).
Final Verdict – Do Praying Mantis Recognize Their Owners
Do praying mantis recognize their owners? Praying mantis seem to be capable of recognizing their owners. This is why the praying mantises react to their owners differently from how they react to other people.
When a praying mantis’ owner is around, the mantis may tend to move towards them. That is in contrast to how the same praying mantis senses the presence of another person – and moves away from them.
Further, a praying mantis will usually perk itself up when around its owner: inviting the owner to hold it. That is in contrast to how the same praying mantis would tend to recoil in the presence of another person.
The praying mantises recognize their owners mostly using their senses of sight. While their owners are feeding them, handling them and interacting with them in other ways, the praying mantises may be observing them.
Then with time, they come to recognize them, and bond with them.
You may get your praying mantis to start recognizing you by feeding it consistently, handling it often (except when it is molting) and generally interacting with it nicely.
You may get to a point where the mantis seems to move towards you (as opposed to fleeing from you) whenever you are around it. You would then know that it has probably started recognizing you.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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