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A mantis, especially the European species Mantis religiosa, which while at rest folds its front legs as if in prayer.
(Animals) another name for mantis
n., pl. -tis•es, -tes (-tēz) also -tids.
any of several predaceous insects of the family Mantidae, having a long prothorax and typically holding the forelegs in an upraised position as if in prayer.
[1650–60; < New Latin < Greek, prophet; akin to mania]
pray·ing man·tis(prā′ĭng măn′tĭs)
Any of various predatory insects that are usually pale green and have two pairs of walking legs and a pair of strong grasping forelimbs. Praying mantises are related to cockroaches, and the female often eats her mate.