A PRAYING Mantis which hails from Europe has been rehomed at Stratford Butterfly Farm.
Named ‘Clare’ after one of its workers, the insect – which waits motionless for prey with its forelegs folded as though in prayer – was discovered at Bordon Hill Nurseries in Stratford.
With the weather getting colder, staff decided she would be best looked after in the tropical conditions at Stratford Butterfly Farm.
The European Mantis is not yet an adult although staff suspect she will shortly gain her wings.
She is currently being cared for behind the scenes but will be going on display to the public in MiniBeast Metropolis.
The European Mantis is a predatory insect in the family Mantidae. It has several adaptations for capturing and devouring its mainly insect prey. These include powerful mouth-parts and long, spiked forelegs.
The insect is a carnivore and preys mainly on insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, moths, butterflies, flies, and bees.
The female European Mantis is heavier and larger than the male, reaching a maximum length of around 9cm compared to the male’s 7cm.
Farm spokesperson Jane Kendrick said: “We are delighted to have rehomed Clare, a gorgeous young Praying Mantis which has probably had quite a journey as they are not native to the UK!”
Visit www.butterflyfarm.co.uk for more information.