Fun Carolina Mantis Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Feb 29, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Shray Sharma
Carolina mantis facts about the state insect of South Carolina.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

A Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) is a large-sized insect that can grow up to 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm) and weighs around 0.14-0.18 oz (4-5.1 g). These creatures are unique amongst around 1800 different species of praying mantis and can be located in North America and South America. These species are easily identifiable and both the sexes have unique features that distinguish them from one another.

This state insect draws its alternate name, the praying mantis, from the way it holds its front legs as one does in a praying position. Read along to know more about this strange yet interesting member of the Mantidae family. After reading these interesting facts about the praying mantis, do check our other articles on the black carpenter ant and the ambush bug.

Carolina Mantis Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Carolina Mantis?

The Carolina mantis, a species of praying mantis, is an insect that is one of the species among thousands of other species of mantis that are found around the world. This state insect belongs to the family of Mantidae and is known for practicing cannibalism.

What class of animal does a Carolina Mantis belong to?

The Carolina mantis, also scientifically known as stagmomantis carolina, belongs to the class Insecta and is counted among the pest-eating insects that are used as natural pest controllers in gardens and farms. This state insect is a sub-species of praying mantis.

How many Carolina Mantises are there in the world?

The Carolina mantis is one of more than 1800 species of mantis that are found all over the world. Although they can be distinguished from one another based on their body patterns and colors, it is almost impossible to calculate the total number of Carolina mantis found around the world.

Where does a Carolina Mantis live?

They are most commonly found in the USA, Central America, and Mexico and have also been found in Connecticut and New York recently. The praying mantis is increasing its range and has been found in new places and areas of meadows and farms.

What is a Carolina Mantis' habitat?

Carolina mantises are big insects that are usually found in low shrubs and bushes, as well as on flowers. The South Carolina mantis has recently been known to have expanded their habitat and is found in different habitats including grasslands, savannas, scrub forests, normal dense forests, tropical forests as well as in gardens and farms.  

Who does Carolina Mantises live with?

The Carolina mantis is usually known to live in groups until the baby mantises grow. After the second or third molting, the mantises usually separate and are known to live individually. It is almost impossible for these creatures to live together as they are at high risk of being eaten by one another.

How long does a Carolina Mantis live?

The Carolina mantis is like other insects which have a very short lifespan as compared to other members of the Animalia kingdom. This mantis is usually known to live from spring to fall and its lifespan can be extended to a maximum of one year even when kept in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The Carolina mantis is known to reproduce by laying around 30-40 eggs that are protected and kept in an egg case called the ootheca on different parts, mainly twigs and stem, during the fall. These egg cases are originally soft and frothy, which later harden into a small, long, and narrow pouch that is capable of protecting the eggs. Then after the eggs hatch, the next stage is called the nymph. The young mantises are similar to adults, just without wings.

What is their conservation status?

The Carolina mantis is not listed on any of the lists and their conservation status is not available. This state insect is not a member of the IUCN Red List or the US Federal list.

Carolina Mantis Fun Facts

What does Carolina Mantises look like?

Carolina Mantis on the stalk of a plant.

Carolina mantises are listed amongst the bigger-sized insects that have a color range from green to brownish grey with a thin and long thorax and large front legs  Males can fly as these state insects have long wings while the female Carolina mantis has short wings and a wide abdomen which makes it difficult for them to fly. Their wings have a black blotch on their outer covering along with developed and specialized raptorial forelegs that are used to catch prey. Carolina mantises also have a head and thorax that is almost as long as the abdomen and they also have a long antenna that is half the size of their middle legs. The males are usually brown, while the females can be either green or brown.

How cute are they?

The Carolina mantis is a very docile and friendly insect that is loved by pet owners and is also taken by people or brought up on farms to provide and help with natural pest control.

How do they communicate?

The Carolina mantis has ears on their bodies that can detect high-frequency sounds that are used by its predators and help them safeguard themselves. These insects are not social insects and do not communicate with one another until the time of mating.

How big is a Carolina Mantis?

An adult Carolina mantis is around 0.02 in during their nymph stage and then grows up to 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm) in length and 0.14-0.18 oz (4-5.1 g) in weight.

How fast can Carolina Mantises move?

The females cannot fly due to their short wings and heavy body, while the males are known to fly at a speed of around 1-1.5 mph (1.6-2.4 kph) while chasing their prey or when threatened.

How much does a Carolina Mantis weigh?

Even though a Carolina praying mantis only weighs 0.14-0.18 oz (4-5.1 g), they are known to be vicious and aggressive pests and insect hunters along with being cannibalistic creatures.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Just like many other species, there are no specific names given to male and female species of Carolina mantises.

What would you call a baby Carolina Mantis?

The Carolina mantis lays around 30-40 eggs every year. These eggs then turn into larvae or nymphs.

What do they eat?

The Carolina praying mantis is a predator that is known to prey on small insects and pests. They have biological importance as they provide natural pest protection for humans. The Carolina praying mantis preys on bugs, butterflies, caterpillars, flies, moths, and wasps.

Are they harmful?

No, not, they are large, for insects, but friendly at the same time. As pets, they usually like being held and are strangely docile with their owners. Although they are aggressive hunters, they are very quiet and naturally friendly towards humans and cause no harm or danger to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The Carolina praying mantis is common and can usually be found in gardens and other places. Female Carolina mantises are usually lazy and would not even move if they are kept indoors and given food regularly. Rather the males do not usually stick around for much time and usually move a lot even if they are given food. So, even though you can keep a Carolina mantis as a pet, they are difficult to care for.

Did you know...

Carolina mantis vs Chinese mantis comparison in terms of size gives the edge to the Chinese mantis as it is larger.

The Carolina mantis has the special capacity to turn its head up to 180 degrees, unlike other insects.

The Carolina mantis has over one thousand different species that vary in appearance and size.

The Carolina Mantis' Mating And Birth Process

The females release pheromones in the late summer which is an indication for males when they get ready for mating. These signals are caught by males and help them during summer to find partners. Females may sometimes practice cannibalism and attack males during the mating process or courtship. This also happens because the female Carolina Praying Mantis is known to produce egg pods known as Carolina Mantis egg cases of around one-third her weight which takes a lot of effort and food. An adult female lays around 30-40 eggs once in their lifetime in an egg case which is formed out of liquid foam that is secreted from their abdominal glands. These shells then harden and form protective covers for adult female eggs.

Comparisons With Other Mantises

If you want to identify whether the Mantis you are looking at is a Carolina mantis then here are some guidelines.

An adult Carolina mantis has a green or brown-colored body with smaller wings for females and longer and bigger wings for males.

A male Carolina mantis is 2-2.5 in (5-6.4 cm) long with a narrow body, and long wings, and is active. Females are 2.5-3 in (6.4-7.6 cm) long with short wings that do not reach the end of their body and a big and bulky abdomen.

Both sexes have straight, streamlined bodies that look like stereotypical mantises and do not have any camouflage body appendages.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the great black wasp and the atlas beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Carolina mantis coloring pages.

Carolina Mantis Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Flies, moths, caterpillars

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

30-35 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

0.14-0.18 oz (4-5.1 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

farms, meadows, gardens

Where Do They Live?

south america, north america

How Long Were They?

2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm)

How Tall Were They?

Small size







Scientific Name

Stagmomantis carolina

What Do They Look Like?

Green or greyish brown

Skin Type

Molted brown

What Are Their Main Threats?

bats and other invertebrates

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Listed
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

Read full bio >