Named after its very large front legs, which are bent in a position that resembles a prayer position, the praying mantis is a carnivore that is anywhere from half an inch to six inches long, and can live up to a year. They are very adept at camouflaging among the plants that they most commonly live near, and are excellent hunters. They can turn their heads 180 degrees and can use their powerful front legs to strike and ensnare their victims so quickly that it can be hard to see. Female praying mantises can lay eggs in groups of 12-400 in the fall for them to hatch in early spring. Many of the offspring eat each other for their first meal. While praying mantises are considered pests, they are actually extremely helpful in keeping your own pest levels low. They are also one of the most common insects kept in homes at pets!