Like other praying mantises, the Carolina Mantis exhibits a "praying" pose with its front pair of legs, hence its name. These legs are substantially thicker than the rear pairs of limbs. Wings are tucked along the top of the abdomen when at rest.
The Carolina Mantis is a gardener's best friend. It consumes a huge quantity of pest insects that would otherwise damage or destroy flowers and produce. Mantis eggs can even be purchased online at the start of summer so gardeners can hatch a population of them. They are to be admired, but left alone, so that they may continue playing out their role in the garden ecosystem.
The females of the species have a wider abdomen than their male counterparts and are generally larger in overall size when compared. Carolina Mantises are also known to eat the male even while in the process of mating!
Females can usually be found more easily. They sit on flowers, garden plants and shrubs, waiting for insect prey to come along. They lay eggs in groups on twigs or branches and cover them with a foam that seals in moisture so the eggs do not dry out. Small nymphs hatch in the spring.