We had never thought about an insect grooming itself, but that is certainly what it looked like. A quick look on the internet revealed, that yes, indeed, praying mantises do groom themselves. In fact, when I widened the search to include all insects, I found out that grooming is something that many insects do. Who knew? I certainly didn't. From a brief skimming of the articles, it looks like the antennae are what are groomed the most because these are very important in transmitting sensory information. Cock roaches have had several studies done about them in this area.
I don't know if you can make out much from these pictures below, but trust me, it was very interesting to watch. Now I'm going to be on the lookout to see if I can observe grooming in other insects. Do you ever wonder how you can have lived so long and not know anything about something that is very common? It seems to happen a lot to me. I'm not sure what that implies, but I do know that it keeps life interesting.
|When you first look, it's hard to see, but notice the praying mantis' triangular head is in the bend of its raised leg. This was part of its leg cleaning.|
|Notice the praying mantis is biting its leg. It did this all up and down it's leg.|
|Annie grooming her head and ears. This kind of grooming I'm familiar with.|
Want to explore further?
Insects Groom to Improve Their Sense of Smell
Praying Mantis Grooming Video