Subject: mantis eating fly in tijuana
Location: south of the border
October 20, 2013 2:41 pm
I was out watering my plants and this little brown mantis caught my eye. The last time I saw a mantis in TJ was about 30 years ago. This one was posing above one of my carrion flowers waiting for the stench of the flower to attract a bug. Two minutes later it was munching on a fly. Don’t really know the specific name for this mantis. Thanks for your time.
Signature: baja by foot
Dear baja by foot,
With the surge in popularity of organic gardening, more and more people are employing means other than pesticides to help control problematic insects, and that includes using predators like Preying Mantids, Lacewings and Lady Beetles. While this is admirable, in some cases the widespread use of predators can have negative consequences at the local level. The Preying Mantid ootheca that are sold are most commonly those of non-native species, and the Chinese Mantis and European Mantis are larger and more aggressive than our native species. They not only compete for food, but they often make meals of our smaller native species. We believe your mantis is a female California Mantis, Stagmomantis californica, and you can try comparing your image to this photo on BugGuide.
We hope your individual is fertile and that she will produce a future generation so that you can encounter the species year after year, instead of just once in three decades.