Do Praying Mantis Have Emotions?

Praying mantis are fascinating creatures that are considered emotionless predators because they show no sympathy while attacking their prey animals.

Do Praying Mantis Have Emotions? Praying mantis have emotions like happiness, fear, anger, affection, sadness, and pain, but their simpler brains cannot process complex feelings like jealousy, hate, love, etc. They show excitement or depression by bringing changes in their behavior or actions.

They do not show sympathy or jealousy to their fellows as their carnivorous nature and simpler brains do not allow them to interact with other species and feel jealous.

However, many other basic or complex emotions in these insects are commonly observed when they mate with partners, attack prey animals, or get food.

Do praying mantis have emotions like humans?

Most commonly, all living organisms exhibit emotions in different situations, as changes in the external environment directly impact their mood and behavior.

They experience a range of emotions that can be easily observed by noticing changes in their behavior. They possess both positive and negative feelings depending on experiences.

In addition, their emotions are not as complex as those of humans, which involve a combination of one or more related basic emotions.

Praying mantis do not have feelings of hate commonly found in humans, which is considered complex because it is a combination of anger, fear, and dislike.

Embarrassment, pride, regret, gratitude, and shame are other complex feelings observed in humans but are not found in insects like praying mantis.

The brains of insects are simpler as they have approximately one million neurons in their triangular heads compared to humans, which have 100 billion neurons.

So, these simpler and smaller brains cannot process complex feelings as they are organized in a different manner.

What emotions do praying mantis have?

Praying mantis possess feelings or emotions that are commonly displayed through actions when they feel comfortable, excited, disturbed, and depressed.


A praying mantis feels happy when it has enough food to eat and a safe place to live. Their favorite food includes crickets, aphids, fruit flies, grasshoppers, and other smaller creatures.

They feel happy in a well-maintained cage that mimics their natural environment, having sticks, barks, artificial plantations, hiding spots, hanging objects, etc.

Moreover, you can find these insects jumping or crawling on the sides of an enclosure when they are feeling happy. In addition, they get happy when humans interact, play, or feed them.

These friendly creatures make a bond with humans and recognize their faces after some time of frequent interaction.


Praying mantis have a fear of attack from predators, and this type of emotion can lead to negative consequences. They cannot perform well at capturing prey when the feeling of fear dominates.

They have to be in a good mental state for precise and agile attacks, and fear can make them lose prey. They are courageous insects and show feelings of fear rarely.

Moreover, they show changes in behavior when they detect a threat in surrounding areas. These insects spread their wings and dance like a butterfly to scare predators.

The size of the body increases when they spread wings and helps keep potential predators away from them. In addition, they shake bodies and bounce up or down to startle the predators.

They hide behind the curled leaves and twigs or blend with the environment when they feel fear.


They do not exhibit a complex emotion of love like humans, but a few related basic feelings are commonly present in these insects, like affection and protective nature.

They show affection to their owners, taking care of their basic needs and requirements and feeding them regularly. In the same way, they also show affection to their babies and protect them.

They take care of the nutrition of eggs until they turn into nymphs and find food for themselves because lack of care and attention can make them prone to attacks and death.

The female praying mantis lays eggs in a shell to ensure protection; otherwise, it can die in cold weather and become a food source for other creatures.

Accordingly, this can be a way of showing affection to their babies, while females rarely show affection to their male partners due to their cannibalistic nature.


Anger is common in praying mantis because these predatory insects become aggressive quickly when they do not feel secure or find food at a close distance.

Sexual cannibalism is a prominent example of their aggressive behavior towards each other because they can kill each other for their own survival.

Moreover, they can also bite humans on their fingers or hands when not handled properly. They do not leave prey when it comes closer to their bodies and attacks ferociously.


Praying mantis can get sad and sink into depression when things get out of their control, and they feel helpless. It can be related to a feeling of discomfort when they are not happy with the situation.

Moreover, they can feel sad when their owner does not come to see them. I can feel that my pet mantis usually gets sad or depressed when I do not visit him for many days.

They do not show quick movement and sit silently, as you cannot find them jumping or hanging on the wires of the cage. Sudden excitement can make them active and trigger them to move happily.


Praying mantis can feel pain when injured or when someone tries to kill them, and even they can detect levels of pain ranging from mild to severe. Their tiny bodies are sensitive to touch and detect the firm grip.

They like a soft touch and react aggressively when someone tries to handle them with a firm grip. Their muscular bodies can get damaged due to poor handling, as their legs can break.

Sometimes, they remove one of the back legs to free themselves from the predator’s grip and try to recover from injuries.

They restrict movement when feeling pain as they cannot fight well with an injured body, and the risk of death increases ultimately.

Are praying mantis optimistic insects?

Optimism relates to positive thoughts about the happenings in life, and insects can be optimistic, particularly praying mantis, because they have the courage to deal with bigger prey.

Moreover, they are not afraid of any challenges and fight with courage and patience. They usually think about positive things and motivate themselves for the future.

They use all of their senses, including vision, hearing, touch, and smell, to ensure that nothing bad happens to them.

However, it does not mean that they never feel disappointed or sad because these emotions are also observed in these insects, but they can overcome these feelings.

They usually remain alert and watch their surroundings, showing they are always ready to deal with undesired circumstances.

Furthermore, these insects usually do not think and worry about their future as their brains do not support complex thoughts or thinking patterns.

So, they are generally considered optimistic and live in the present day. They feel happy about the things available to them, like food and shelter.


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