Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 6:40 AM
Hello, bugman! My baby mantids are finally large enough to take a decent photo of. My grandmother brought this egg case back from Maryland to Florida while on vacation and it hatched. Is it safe to release these babies into the woods here in Florida, or would they be invasive? I think my husband is tired of me keeping them in a box on the kitchen table. Thanks!
Panama City, Florida via Easton, Maryland
It usually isn’t a very good idea to transport insects from one location to another. With that said, many of the Mantis species in the eastern U.S. are already non-native, like the Chinese Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis and the European Mantis, Mantis religiosa. Those two species are also frequently sold as ootheca, the foamy egg sac, so that home gardeners can use natural methods to control harmful insects instead of using pesticides. Interestingly, Mantids are not particular about the insects they eat, and they frequently feed on pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We doubt that your baby Mantids would be happy in the woods. The garden or a meadow would be more to their liking.