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In Japanese, the praying mantis is called “kamakiri” 鎌切 means “Scythe sword”

Scientific name: Tenodora aridifolia
Other names: ….. tooroo, tōrō 螳螂
….. ibomushiri いぼむしり, ibojiri いぼじり
….. ax insect, ono-mushi斧虫
….. praying insect, 祈り虫

The praying mantis (kamakiri) is I think one of the most scary monsterlike bugs on earth. It eats almost anything that is a source of meat. I have been attacked by a huge praying mantis before in Singapore, it hurt like crazy. After it gripped me, I tried to catch it but it was too clever. I was surprised it didn’t flee. It spread out its wings at the back and it sprung and dug its vicious claws/spikes on its front legs into me. Unfortunately, the praying mantis in the photo above is not the same huge praying mantis that attacked me.

Kamakiri have a great appetite and eat a lot of meat (carnivorous) so rearing them is difficult -you need space and a lot of flies or aphids to feed them. Very tiny mantids will eat each other until only one or a few mantids are left if you rear them in a terrarium.

To know more about praying mantises, read this factsheet.


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