Friday, September 10, 2010

Kamakiri. Japanese praying mantis

The most common name in Japan for the praying mantis is "kamakiri" which means "sickle cut" referring to its front legs that look to the Japanese more like someone cutting weeds than praying. Like the names for many animals in Japan, there is a multitude of regional variations.


I often find them inside the house, and we have lots in the garden where they help keep down the bugs as they are carnivorous. The spikes on their front legs are used for catching prey.

Unusual among insects, the kamakiri can rotate its head 180 degrees....

If you liked this then have a look at my post on Mukade, the Giant Japanese Centipede


  1. Great photos! I have loved these insects since my older son brought one home from Alberta. We managed to keep it as a pet for quite some time.

    Thanks for the memories.

  2. I've discovered your blog a few weeks ago and since then I try to share it with as many people as I can as it deals with two of the highest Japanese characteristics : beauty and perfectionism.
    Thanks for these great pictures and for the rest, anyway.
    (I particularly love the last one, very anthropomorphic)

  3. excellent shots...have a good sunday!