Do Praying Mantis Take Care Of Their Young?

Praying mantis can be considered self-centered creatures as they are not loyal to their babies and leave them for their own sake to struggle for survival.

Do Praying Mantis Take Care Of Their Young? Praying mantes do not take care of their young because the male mantis dies during or after mating, and the female cannot survive cold weather and food shortages. Moreover, those living in temperate weather have a shorter lifespan and usually die before hatching of eggs. Sometimes, the parents eat young for nutrition due to the unavailability of food.

Female praying mantis covers the newly produced eggs in a protective mass to avoid damage in winter, while males play no such role.

Why do praying mantis not take care of their young?

Most commonly, the praying mantis is not responsible for caring for the young ones for several reasons, making them free of parenting responsibilities.

The nymphs have no wings, but their bodies are similar to adults in terms of physical features and behavioral characteristics, so they try to survive.

Deadly mating

The male mantis plays a role in transferring sperm to females and dies during or after mating. Female partners decapitate them for being unfit or involved in violent mating practices.

An unexpected introduction of male partners leads to the aggressiveness of their partners when they have to die because females are usually bigger and chew their heads.

Moreover, this deadly mating process does not allow males to fulfill their responsibility of being a parent and caring for the young ones.

Cold weather

Females lay eggs at the end of summer or early autumn, followed by winter. These eggs are protected inside a frothing mass that gets hard over time and protects them from the cold.

However, the females usually cannot help the young ones to grow and develop because they cannot resist cold weather.

These females die after laying eggs in the winter. Eggs can survive and hatch during warm weather as it supports their survival.

Unavailability of food resources

The female praying mantis shows no affection for the young ones after laying eggs because they cannot survive due to the unavailability of food sources.

Their bodies become deficient in nutrients as these predatory insects do not find any insects and animals to catch and eat as their prey hides in the winter.

Moreover, they rarely find any prey while sitting on the plants because insects risk freezing to death as these cold-blooded creatures cannot maintain body temperature.

So, they cannot get enough food according to their body requirements and die from starvation because the body cells do not get enough nutrients to produce the required energy.

Shorter lifespan

They can live for around 12 months, but it decreases for those living in temperate regions having cold weather for nearly a year.

Adult females from temperate regions cannot survive to see hatching eggs or cannot favor the growth of the nymphs until they become adults with wings.

However, those living in tropical regions can usually survive for more than a year as warm weather supports their survival.

They are also isolated from nymphs because they begin to chew their babies in cold weather when no other cold-blooded insects are on the ground.

Some praying mantes living in captivity can survive for almost 2 years because they get ideal temperatures, plenty of food, and suitable habitat, so they can see hatching eggs.

Eat young mantis for food

The parent praying mantis not only avoids taking the responsibility of caring for the young ones when they hatch during favorable weather but also eats them.

Both males and females eat their young ones when there is a food deficiency and kill them at the nymph stage before becoming adults.

Their carnivorous nature can put the life of their babies at risk because they can kill nymphs for survival. A female can lay hundreds of eggs again, so they prefer to ensure survival.

How do young praying mantis survive without care?

Young praying mantes or nymphs do not need parental care to survive because these wingless insects can grow independently.

Nymphs can capture their own food source by targeting insects roaming close to the plants. They can grasp and devour their prey but choose prey wisely.

They do not attack bigger prey because there are chances of losing the battle, as the larger prey can retaliate and end up killing these tiny creatures.

Accordingly, you can find nymphs feeding on soft-bodied and smaller insects showing less movement, like aphids that can be easily captured.

The aphids are commonly present on the plant stems that can share a plant with nymphs and get captured by their spiked legs.

It requires less effort to trap aphids because of the similar habitat and less movement. In addition, their bodies are a rich source of nutrients and are soft enough to be easily devoured.

They can quickly chew the soft bodies of aphids, get sweet juices, and eat proteinaceous bodies that can help keep them full of energy for a long time.

In addition, they eat fruit flies until they become a winged adult and shift their dietary habits to bigger insects requiring more precise hunting skills.

Furthermore, these nymphs can also kill each other to use another sibling as a food source when they do not find aphids and fruit flies in their surroundings.

So, they do not depend on adult parents for their nutrition and fight to fulfill their nutritional requirements while hunting for food and ensuring survival.

How does female praying mantis take care of eggs?

Female praying mantis cannot protect the young nymphs when the eggs hatch because these do not remain alive until spring and die in winter.

However, she tries to protect eggs from the cold weather. They lay a large number of eggs at a time within an ootheca.

This ootheca looks like foam and keeps all of the eggs inside when released by a female mantis. It is usually released on the stem where the ootheca remains hanging during winter.

This covering is a foam-type material that is white in color and covers all the eggs. It gets hard over time, appearing brown and looking like a twig.

In addition, this hard covering break and releases nymphs when the weather becomes warmer. This breakage of egg casing occurs during the hatching process in the springtime.

So, the eggs take a few months before hatching and develop into nymphs when they get desired warmth due to a slight increase in external temperature during spring.

Related Articles:

What If Praying Mantis Were The Size of Humans?