Steve’s Nature Quiz #22

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Mantis, to most of us, conjures up a picture of the familiar Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa). In this week’s #CreteNature blog I introduced you to another, the Mediterranean Mantis (Iris oratoria) but how many types of Mantis are there in the world?

a) 24

b) 240

c) 2,400

Mediterranean Mantis, Iris oratoria

Somewhat surprisingly there are over 2,400 species of Mantis in the world (and probably many more that we’ve yet to discover). They are a distinct order of insects (Mantodea) on a par with Flies (Diptera) or Beetles (Coleoptera) and there are fifteen different families of Mantises within the order Mantodea. Here in Greece the ancients believed that Mantises had supernatural powers and could show you the way home. I wouldn’t rely upon it; this one is pointing away from my front gate!

More on mantises, as well as frogs, flowers, stone chats and grasshoppers plus a bit…

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