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

Subject:  Three Male California Mantids
Geographic Location of the Bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  September 16, 2016
Time:  10:38 AM EDT
Saturday morning, after posting identification requests from our readership, Daniel discovered three male California Mantids in various places in the yard.  Earlier in the season, several female California Mantids were observed over time.  Daniel knows for certain there are at least three mature females in the garden now, and they are probably releasing pheromones as it is time to mate and lay eggs.  One could only hope that each female attracted her own suitor.

First Male California Mantis on the Hungarian wax pepper plant.

Male California Mantids can be distinguished from female California Mantids because males are smaller, thinner and have longer wings.  Unlike the wings of the males, the wings of the females do not reach the end of the abdomen.  Both male and female California Mantids can be brown or green.

Second male California Mantis on the screen door.

Third male California Mantis on the porch light.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  California Mantis patrolling my Woody Plant captures marauding Grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  09/09/2017
Time:  10:37 AM EDT
Dear Bugman,
Last week I sent you pictures of the female California Mantis that is patrolling my Woody Plant.  Well, today I am happy to report that she is doing her job.  I found her eating this large green grasshopper.  I wish I could have seen the actual capture, but I didn’t arrive until after the Grasshopper had its head eaten away.  Much earlier in the summer, I removed some small green Grasshoppers that you identified as a Gray Bird Grasshopper, a funny name since it was green.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Female California Mantis eats Gray Bird Grasshopper nymph

Dear Constant Gardener,
The prey in your image is indeed a Gray Bird Grasshopper nymph, and it is much larger than the individual in your submission from early July of a Gray Bird Grasshopper nymph.  The reason these green nymphs are called Gray Bird Grasshoppers is because that is the color of the mature adult.  Nymphs feeding on fresh green leaves need to blend in or they will be eaten.  Your female California Mantis is beautifully camouflaged among the leaves of your plant, especially when she is downwardly hanging.

Thanks Bugman,
Do you have any further advice regarding caring for my guard insect?

Hi again Constant Gardener,
If a mature, mated California Mantis finds a safe plant where the hunting is good, she will remain there.  She will eventually produce and attach to woody stems, several oothecae, the egg cases that each contain dozens of eggs that will hatch into mantidlings in the spring.  When you harvest, keep a diligent eye peeled for the oothecae.  In our own garden, we tie the oothecae we discover while pruning in the fall and winter onto trees and shrubs where we would like to have predators that keep injurious species at bay.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Look what I found patrolling my Woody Plant
Geographic location of bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  9/1/2017
Time:  11:32 PM
Dear Bugman,
From searching your website, I believe this is a California Mantis.  Can you confirm?
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Female California Mantis

Dear Constant Gardener,
You are correct that this is a California Mantis, and the short wings indicate that it is a mature female California Mantis.  Congratulations on having such a good security system to protect your plants from critters that might want to eat them.

Female California Mantis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  chicagoland – suburban area
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 08:15 AM EDT
about 5″ long. looked to be able to fly.
How you want your letter signed:  jim

Male Chinese Mantis

Hi Jim,
This looks to us like a male Chinese Mantis, a species now naturalized in many parts of North America.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Chinese Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Wilmette Illinois
August 28, 2017 7:57 AM
I believe this to be a Chinese Mantis. I thought he was quite photogenic.
How you want your letter signed:  Karin Weidman

Immature Chinese Mantis

Dear Karin,
This Mantis is immature and identification of immature individuals is often more difficult than the identification of mature adults.  The wing pads do appear to have a green edge, so we believe your identification of an immature Chinese Mantis is correct.

Immature Chinese Mantis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect clinging to the side of my house
Geographic location of the bug:  Lakewood, WA
August 28, 2017 4:40 PM
Never saw one like this before. It’s been clinging to the side of my house for 3 hrs now. It is 2.5″ long.
How you want your letter signed:  Beate Otto

Male European Mantis

Dear Beate Otto,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are confident this is a male European Mantis.  According to BugGuide:  “Widespread in the United States and in southeastern and southwestern Canada, but often not as common in hot humid or very dry climates as elsewhere. Generally not found in desert regions except in agricultural, urban, or otherwise artificially watered environments. Perhaps(?) not able to overwinter in north-central US and south-central Canada. It 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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination