Did you know that Connecticut has an Official State Insect? Yeah, we know the Charter Oak is the Official Tree, and the Robin is the State Bird, and maybe some of us know that Nathan Hale is the Official Hero of Connecticut, but an official bug? Yep. The Praying Mantis is the official State Insect here in Conne..uh..The Mantis State.

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I saw a cute lil' mantis for the first time in years last night. I had to move to Torrington to see one, do they hate the Town Plot neighborhood of Waterbury? Whatever, I like bugs, and the praying mantis is one of my favorites. I found the little guy right outside of my front door and blinded it with my paparazzi shot that you see above. I was so excited, because I know that the mantis is a good bug that eats bad bugs.

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I've always considered a mantis sighting rare, so I did a quick search on them in Connecticut, and lo and behold, there it was, the 'praying' mantis is the Official State Insect of Connecticut. It became official on October 1, 1977. Why do I think they're not too common around here? The mantis is not native to Connecticut, they originated from Africa, Asia, and Europe and they have a short life span - 4 weeks to 6 months, depending on the species. They're harmless to humans, but lethal to flies, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and moths.

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By remaining still, their prey doesn't see them until it's too late. That's another reason why they're so hard to spot, their color and whisp-thin bodies are perfect camouflage. Most interestingly? Mantis are known for their sexual cannibalism, it's common for a female mantis to chow down on the male mantis while he's going to town on her. There's a photo of a headless male being devoured while in the act on the Wikipedia page, savage.

Anyway, good for us Connecticut, be proud that a sexually-cannibal insect proudly represents all of us good citizens.

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