They may look similar, but the praying mantis and stick bugs are two different insects belonging to the order Mantodea and Phasmatodea respectively.
To understand the different complexities of these insects you will need to look at their taxonomy, appearance, and diet.
Stick bugs are also known as walking insects or bug sticks, and they literally resemble small dead twigs. On the other hand, praying mantises are also long, but they do not look like twigs, although they can camouflage adequately in their habitat.
In order to find out the subtle differences between stick bugs and praying mantis, read on.
What is the Difference Between Praying Mantis and Walking Stick?
The main difference between the praying mantis and walking stick depends on their nutrition mode. Praying mantis is carnivorous whereas walking stick is herbivorous. Besides, there is a difference between praying mantis and walking stick in the number of eggs the female lays. Female praying mantis lays about 300 – 400 eggs. In comparison, the female walking stick lays up to 150 eggs per time. Moreover, the praying mantis is used as a biological control agent to control the insects that harm the crops while the dead walking stick is seen to be used as ornament by pressing it and hanging it inside the bottles.
The below info-graphic represents more information regarding the difference between praying mantis and walking stick.
Walking stick bugs are found in every continent except for Antarctica. They prefer living in tropical climates near the equator, although they also prosper in grasslands and forests north and south of the equator. Praying mantises are also distributed across the globe but not in Antarctica. They, too, prefer to live near the equator but are found living in forests and meadows. These insects spend most of their time camouflaging themselves among plant life.
Walking stick bugs and praying mantises are unique insects; it requires a sharp eye to find either one crawling along a tree branch or hiding in a pile of leaves. Although these insects share some characteristics, such as camouflage for passive defense, they differ in features such as habitat, diet and captive care.
Your praying mantis enclosure should have sticks for climbing around on. Place small rocks, pieces of bark, shredded wood or sand at the bottom of his enclosure to absorb moisture. Spray water into his habitat as needed to maintain humidity levels. Feed your praying mantis every two to four days. Drop in crickets, bluebottle flies or Dubia cockroaches and watch your praying mantis capture and eat his prey. Remove any prey that is not eaten to keep the enclosure fresh.
Your walking stick bug needs an enclosure whose height is at least 3 times longer than his body length and whose width is at least 2 times longer than his body length. Cover the floor with a substance such as potting soil or pebbles that absorb moisture. A walking stick needs a mesh or net roof to grip while the creature sheds. Walking stick bugs require fresh leaves to eat daily, which also serve as decoration. Clean his enclosure often to remove droppings.
Walking stick bugs have life spans of up to 3 years in the wild. They grow no more than 13 inches long. Praying mantises typically live no longer than 1 year. They grow up to 6 inches long. Praying mantises are excellent garden predators with exceedingly quick reflexes for stalking and catching prey.
Similarities Between Stick Insect and Praying Mantis
Stick insects display both differences and similarities with the praying mantis. That being said, the latter are also important since they explain why so many people confuse the 2 species. Here are the most relevant similarities between stick insects and praying mantids:
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