Mr. bugman,
I am 11 y.o. i had a praying mantis, and fed him many bugs, mostly crickets and butterflys. I put in a katydid (my dad thinks) with a stinger like thing in his cage. When I checked on him, he was dead and his head was eaten off by this katydid thing half his size. What was it, I still have it? I thought they only ate plants. Can you help me with this question. My dad and I cant find too much out on the web, but we ran into this site and thought we would try you.
Cool Site!
Zack E, and dad

Dear Zack,
The stinger you describe was the ovipositor of the female katydid. They are not predatory, and I have not heard of a situation of a katydid killing a mantis. I can tell you that katydids are not the typical food source for mantids. Normally they eat bees, butterflies, skippers, flower flies and other small flying insects. Your murder is a mystery to me and perhaps needs some additional crime scene investigation. Is it possible that ants got to the already dead mantis and devoured the head?

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