A mantid is called a praying mantis because it looks like it is praying. Its color depends on where it lives. It has wings and can fly. It can leap, too. It is 2 to 5 inches long. Most mantids live in warm climates. A mantid uses its front legs to catch prey. Its legs have sharp spines and hooks to hold prey. They live in tropical rain forests, meadows, deserts,and gardens. All of these places are warm. The praying mantis was named because of the way it holds its legs. It looks like it is preying. It does this because it is waiting for his prey. The mantid sits perfectly still where it blends in on its perch. When another insect or tree frog comes, it shoots out its four legs and snatches its "meal". It does this very quickly. The praying mantis does not search for his food. He waits for it to come to it. The female mantid is larger than the male. She will sometimes eat her mate if she hasn't eaten for awhile. She lays her eggs in the fall, usually at night. They are in a protective sack called ootheca. It is attached to different objects. The ootheca is weatherproof. In late spring little sacks emerge from the ootheca. The praying mantis sheds its skin 6-9 times in his life, depending on how much it eats. Its skin is its skeleton.