Praying mantis. Meet this insect also called Santa Teresa bug or campamocha

Encountering a praying mantis, the insect also known as Santa Teresa, salparica, campamocha or simply praying mantis, has various meanings. Some people say that it represents spirits and many other things, but the truth is that it is in itself something beneficial to meet a praying mantis in the garden, because it is a predator that can help us fight parasites.

praying mantis

The praying mantis is how this predatory insect is commonly known. What many people think they don’t know is that its scientific name in this case matches the common name given to it in Spain and other parts of the world, Mantis religiosa. Known for the disposition of its predatory legs, which it uses to capture its food, it appears to be praying.


Meet a praying mantis

this insect can be found in the garden or even in the urban garden because it can move in flight. It is true that it would take a lot to be able to control pests, but it is also true that the more allies of a species there are in the garden, the better, because between them they keep the populations in distance.


That’s why if you find a praying mantis or campamocha, let it live in peace, it won’t hurt you, and in addition to being very pretty, it’s a good ally.

There is a lot of urban legends around the Santa Teresa bug. One of them is that he says the mantis stings, but what it actually does is when you fight back if you put your finger near it, because it throws its legs at you, which have spikes to catch prey.

It’s as if you put your finger near a cactus, it stings the same… Another thing that makes an impression is that the female mantis always eats the male. This only happens if the female is hungry, because as you will see in the video at the end, she needs a lot of energy to lay the egg or ootheca.

encounter with a praying mantis

praying mantis eggs

The cycle begins in the spring, the first larvae begin to emerge after spending the whole winter inside the ootheca. At first they measure no more than a few millimeters, but as the days pass they feed until they reach adulthood, which has been around summer.

When a male and a female meet, mating takes place. Later, the female lays the eggs covered with a gelatinous mass that will protect them from the cold.

Another curiosity is that the female santa teresa mantis or bug, can lay eggs even if not mated, as in the case of hens. The eggs never hatch in this case. The praying mantis with a single mating is able to lay several egg sacs throughout the summer.

For this, he needs to eat a lot and becomes very voracious. is able to eat huge insects as seen in the following photos. In the first he devours a grasshopper and in the second a grid.

praying mantis eggs


More curiosities of the mantis, campamocha or Santa Teresa bug

It exists in some countries mantids so big they feed on small birds, mammals and reptiles.

The Santa Teresa bug has only one ear, on the chest.

Some adult praying mantises eat newly hatched ones.

They have “5 eyes”, 2 large ones that can rotate up to 180º and 3 small ones called ocelli.

Now I leave you part of a documentary called The Living Garden, very interesting, in which you can see the whole process that I have explained to you:

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bug of saint therese

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