Currently viewing the category: "Preying Mantis"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Tre killing Weirdo Thing?
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, CA
Date: 12/23/2017
Time: 09:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello sir,
This weirdo cocoon(?) is on our Silver Sheen Pittosporum tree. We’ve been puzzled about it for a few months now. I woke up this morning thinking about it, I’m concerned that it might be harmful to the tree, as four of these trees have mysteriously died in the past year.  Is this the culprit?
Thank you for your time!
How you want your letter signed:  No, thank you.

Mantis Ootheca

This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis and it is not responsible for the death of your trees.  Mantids are predators that are often used by organic gardeners to control insect pests without the use of pesticides.

Thank you, Daniel. We didn’t hear from you guys, so we brought it inside. We put it in a terrarium and about three weeks ago, 20 aliens popped out. They were adorable.
My question now, are these predators a threat to the Monarch and Gulf Fritillary caterpillars that we raise?
Thank you,
Mike

Hi Mike,
Your original request arrived when our editorial staff was on holiday and we never seem to catch up on requests when we are away from the office.  We do not believe native California Mantids are a threat to either your Monarch or Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars, but Mantids will eat pollinating insects including Bees.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug or fossil?
Geographic location of the bug:  Saw Washington state
Date: 02/19/2018
Time: 02:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have no idea what this is. It was found in Southwest Washington state and is the second one we found. The first one was a couple months ago this one was just found a couple days ago (that would be early February). At first I thought it was a fossil but now I’m not so sure. If you can’t tell me what it is do you know who I might ask that’s local to Southwest Washington?
How you want your letter signed:  M.c.hlousek

Mantis Ootheca

Dear M.c.hlousek,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, but we cannot say for certain if it is a native species or a species introduced for agricultural purposes.  When conditions are correct, you should expect young mantids to hatch and begin hunting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hatchling California Mantis
Geographic Location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date:  Monday, January 22, 2018
Time:  4:30 PM PST
This past Monday, while taking an unrelated photo of a model using a 4×5 camera and film, Daniel spotted a hatchling California Mantis on the patio roof.  It was scuttling along quite quickly and without a digital camera handy, the sighting went unrecorded.  The proximity of this sighting to the body of the female California Mantis that died without laying eggs has only fueled Daniel’s unrealistic hope that some eggs might hatch, protected by the body of their dead mother.  Though that is a remote fantasy, this is nonetheless an extremely early sighting for a Mantis hatchling in Southern California as we don’t normally see hatchlings until April, but this has been a warm and dry Southern California winter thusfar.  Lacking an image of the hatchling, we are posting a scanned photo from a 4×5 negative of the final resting place (an empty aquarium) of our female California Mantis that died after an unknown trauma caused her egg-filled abdomen to burst.  Meanwhile we will search for more hatchlings in the coming weeks.

Dead female California Mantis (filled with eggs)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cocoon?
Geographic location of the bug:  Aripeka Preserve, FL
Date: 01/02/2018
Time: 06:13 AM EDT
Saw this during a recent hike in Central FL, Gulf Coast. It looks distinctive, but I’m stumped…
Thanks in advance, and happy new year!
How you want your letter signed:  Frank

Mantis Ootheca

After a bit more Googling and brainstorming, I located some photos of very similar looking structures that had been ID’d as some type of mantis egg case. Am I in the right track?

Dear Frank
Your googling provided you with the correct information.  This is a Mantis ootheca or egg case, and it looks to be that of a native species, probably the ootheca of a Carolina Mantis which is pictured on the Bug of the Week site.  The ootheca of a California Mantis looks quite similar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Small non-flying mantid in the Oregon high desert
Geographic location of the bug:  Ochoco National Forest, Oregon, USA
Date: 12/30/2017
Time: 07:17 PM EDT
Greetings,
I found this mantid about an hour after the Great American Eclipse ended (mid-day) on August 21st, 2017. The location was the Oregon Star Party in the Ochoco National Forest, Oregon, USA at 44.298775°N 120.141648°W. The altitude was about 5,000 ft and the terrain was the high desert of central Oregon (open rocky area surrounded by forest).
The mantid did not fly. It skittered along the ground very quickly and was difficult to keep up with. I have been unable to find any information on a mantid that lives in the high desert of Oregon. As you can see it was very small. Maybe an inch long.
Thank you!
(I got an “entity too large” the first time I submitted this so here we go with cropped pics)
How you want your letter signed:  Tommy

Agile Ground Mantid

Dear Tommy,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are quite confident that this is a Ground Mantid in the genus
Litaneutria, and according to BugGuide, they are “Less than 35mm long.”  Of the species Litaneutria minor, BugGuide notes:  “In Canada: known only from the dry grasslands of British Columbia in the extreme southern Okanagan Valley near Oliver and Osoyoos.  In the U.S.: widespread; from Colorado and Arizona to Mexico, northwest to California, north to Dakota, and occasionally to Texas.”  BugGuide also recognizes:  “Very difficult to capture.”  The species is pictured on the Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia.  According to Good Garden Bugs:  “Ground mantids are unique in that instead of adopting the typical sit-and-wait predatory strategy of most mantids, these active hunters stalk their prey on the ground. … Litaneutria minor is commonly called the agile ground mantid because they can be found running swiftly along the ground in search of prey.  They are found in the sesert southwest, eastern California, Oregon and Washington and are 3/4 tp 1 1/4 inches (2 to 3 cm) in length.  They are also found in southwestern Canada and are the only native Canadian mantid.”  This is not only our first posting of the New Year, we are also making it the Bug of the Month for January 2018.

Agile Ground Mantid

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Praying mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Oahu, Hawaii,  USA
Date: 12/29/2017
Time: 12:57 AM EDT
Hello I was wondering what type of mantis these are. I have searched your website and haven’t found it exactly. Using google images I’ve determined it is in the hierodula genus but not the exact species. In the past week I have found five or six of them all of them being female and I have not found any males in all the time I’ve lived here so I am curious if they are parthengenic. Thank you in advance for helping me
How you want your letter signed:  Colin

Giant Asian Mantis

Dear Colin,
One of the biggest problems with trying to identify Insects and Arthropods sighted in Hawaii is that many if not most creatures, especially on Oahu, are introduced from other parts of the world.  Based on this FlickR image from Hong Kong, we believe you have correctly identified the genus
Hierodula.  This unidentified individual from Hawaii on Leigh Hilberts site also looks very much like your individual.  Mantidforum does picture males from this genus, so we do not believe you have a parthenogenic species.  It is more likely you have not encountered males that generally do not live as long as female Mantids.  Your submission is our first new posting since our editorial staff returned from holiday.

Giant Asian Mantis

Comment from Brian Fridie on Facebook:  Hierodula patellifera. I would love it I could help in correctly IDing many of the mantids on your site.

We would love to take advantage of Brian’s offer.  In the future, please post a comment on the actual posting and we can include corrections and identifications on our site.  The editorial staff does not communicate via Facebook.

Giant Asian Mantis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination