Currently viewing the category: "Preying Mantis"
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Subject: Maryland praying mantis?
Location: Clarksburg, MD
August 19, 2015 6:48 pm
I often finf praying mantis around the garden here in Maryland, but they are usually green and have a larger abdomen (females) Thus one seems a bit different….longer, brown, and much more active.
Signature: Steve

Probably Carolina Mantis

Probably Carolina Mantis

Dear Steve,
We believe you are probably used to seeing larger introduced species like the European Mantis, which according to BugGuide “can be expected almost anywhere, because it is often sold as egg cases for pest control in gardens, even in places where it cannot survive long term,” or the Chinese Mantis, which according to BugGuide is “Widely distributed in the U.S. due to the availability of commercially purchased egg-cases.”  Our native Mantids are threatened in some areas as they are smaller and they might be eaten by their larger, introduced cousins.  We believe your Mantis is a native Carolina Mantis, but it is difficult to be certain as your image is not extremely sharp and much greenery obscures the insect.  Compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.

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The Figeater and the California Mantis:  Drama on the Butterfly Bush
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 17, 2015, 6:30 PM
It has been a hot couple of days in Los Angeles, and our editorial staff has been staying indoors to beat the heat, and we have been reserving the late afternoon and twilight hours for doing yardwork.  A Figeater was noisily circling the yard and it landed on a magenta
Buddleia, so we moved in closer to see if it was eating nectar, and as its bulky weight caused the flower stalk to bob up and down, we spotted a stick moving and we couldn’t help but to wonder what a Walkingstick was doing on the plant.  A closer inspection revealed an immature green California Mantis almost three inches long carefully scrutinizing the Figeater, trying to determine if it would be a good meal.  We knew immediately that the Mantis would not be able to capture the large, heavy beetle, but we thought it was photo worthy anyways, with the two pretty green insects on the magenta blossom, but alas, when we tried to download the images, the card was blank, mysteriously erased, possibly through a camera malfunction or perhaps a computer glitch.  So while you won’t be seeing the image, we thought you might enjoy the account of the sighting.

Figeater (from our archives)

Figeater (from our archives)

Yesterday we trimmed the guajes trees because we didn’t want all the dried seed pods to drop to the ground and we found two immature California Mantids, just under two inches long, one green and one brown, living in the branches.  We relocated them and we noticed that they had grown considerably larger than the little guy we took some images of last month.  We have seen more little mantids this year than we ever remember seeing, so our Southern California drought is not negatively affecting the population in our garden.  After trimming the branches we placed them in the green bin with the lid open in the event any other Mantids were camouflaged among the leaves so that they can find their way to freedom.

Female California Mantis eats Honey Bee (from our archives)

Female California Mantis eats Honey Bee (from our archives)

Subject: Your lost image
Location: South Pasadena
August 17, 2015 10:55 pm
I saw your post about your lost image, and it reminded me of this picture I got in 2011. They seemed not to notice one another. It was a big rose.
Signature: Barbara

Figeater and California Mantis

Figeater and California Mantis

Dear Barbara,
Thanks so much for sending in your image to replace our own lost image.  You mentioned they did not seem to notice one another.  In our case, the Mantis appeared to be stalking the Figeater, but it never struck, perhaps sensing that the Figeater was too large.  We have added your letter and image to the original posting we made rather than to make a unique posting.

Hayley Nasman, Sue Dougherty, Heather Duggan-Christensen, Mary Sheridan Page Fatzinger liked this post
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Subject: mantis
Location: Fulto, MO
July 31, 2015 7:55 pm
Found this little sweet thing on my roses. Would like to know more about it. Haven’t been able to find anything.
Thanks for the site! I love bugs!!!
Signature: Angela

Immature Mantis

Immature Mantis

Dear Angela,
This Mantis is an immature individual, and we are not certain of its species.  We have not had any success finding an image of a similarly marked Mantis as the green legs with the brown “knees” is quite distinctive.  Perhaps one of our readers who knows more about Mantids can provide some additional information.

thank you. i will try to keep an eye on him and the others like him that seem to love my roses. as i can, i will send more pics as they progress.

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Subject: Strange Arthropod
Location: El Paso, TX, USA
July 30, 2015 3:14 pm
Hello Mr. Bugman,
My mother sent me picture and asked if I knew what kind of “bug” it was. She was pretty creeped out, since it looks so wild and crawls all over the outside of her house, but so far has not strayed far from that location. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything that looks like this besides Cambrian era arthropods (haha), so I was hoping I may have luck with you. If not, don’t worry about it!
Signature: Francisco

Mantis Ootheca

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Francisco,
This looks like the Ootheca or Egg Case of a Preying Mantis, and it also appears that it has already “hatched” releasing several hundred tiny, predatory Mantises into your mother’s yard where they will help to control insect populations.

Mt. Washington Homeowners Alliance, Sue Dougherty, Ann Levitsky liked this post
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Subject: California Mantis?
Location: Silver Lake, CA 90039
July 20, 2015 4:04 pm
Hi Daniel,
Found an almost 4″ Mantis hanging out upside down, under one of the patio umbrellas in a shady part of the backyard. It was a very hot sunny morning.
Her body was very thick and wide. Never seen one like this before. But looking at your site & Bug Guide, it looks like California Mantis.
She seemed to be grooming herself while I struggled to get a good shot of her. She seemed very diva-esque, posing and everything. If this is what laid the eggs in the ootheca on our wood fence (which you identified a few months ago), I totally believe it based on her girth!
See all our mantids: http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/search/label/Praying%20Mantis
Signature: Diane E

Stagmomantis limbata, we believe

Stagmomantis limbata, we believe

Hi Diane,
We actually believe this to be a different native mantis in the same genus as the California Mantis.  This looks more like the Bordered Mantis,
Stagmomantis limbata, based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide, the female Bordered Mantis is a:  “Moderately large Mantid. Facial plate (below and between antennae) about twice as wide as long (as for genus), eyes not as protruding as in Carolina Mantid. Females most often fairly plain green (often yellowish abdomen), but sometimes gray, or light brown, with dark spot in middle of tegmina. Tegmina do not completely cover wide abdomen. Hind wings checkered or striped yellow. Blue upper lip more pronounced in females, brighter in green forms and darker in brown forms.”  Now we are having some doubts that we might have misidentified some California Mantids from Mount Washingting because BugGuide states that the California Mantis:  “Generally favors drier areas than related species that might be found with it. Often found with or near S. limbata and difficult to separate from it without looking at wings or abdomen of male. Generally S. californica is very slightly smaller and more slender, on average.”  At this time, sorting out the two may take a real expert.

Stagmomantis limbata we believe

Stagmomantis limbata we believe

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Subject:  Immature California Mantis
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 5, 2015
Since we have been experiencing technical difficulties with our submission form, we have not been receiving the number of identification requests we normally experience at this time of year.  We apologize to all of you who are unable to submit images for identification purposes.  Meanwhile, it is giving us an opportunity to post a few visitors to our offices.  Each year we see several California Mantids in the garden, and this immature hunter was prowling the Hoja Santa leaves for prey.  The next day we saw another individual on the porch light where the moth hunting was quite good.

Immature California Mantis

Immature California Mantis

 

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination