"then, like praying mantises, they would retreat"

Mantis religiosa - the praying mantis
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMantis religiosa - the praying mantis - Credit: Katya
Praying mantises are insects belonging to the order Mantodea. They are so-named because their folded forelimbs resemble the kneeling posture of prayer.

One of the most well-known attributes of the order is that the female insect sometimes eats the male just after mating, or even during mating.

In Europe, the term praying mantis is generally reserved forĀ the speciesĀ Mantis religiosa. One of this species' claims to fame is that it is the official state insect of Connecticut!