European Praying Mantis
The European praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) was designated the official state insect of Connecticut in 1977. This fascinating insect is not a native North American (originating in Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and temperate areas of Asia), but it is found throughout the state of Connecticutt. The European praying mantis is a beneficial insect for farmers and a symbol of the importance of the natural environment.
Mantis is a Greek word meaning "prophet" or "diviner (while hunting, the praying mantis stands motionless with its special front legs raised in seeming meditation). Understandably, the praying mantis is often mispelled as "preying" mantis. The praying mantis is a green or brown insect that eats aphids, flies, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and moths.