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

Subject:  The Mantis on my Woody Plant is growing
Geographic location of bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  7/20/2018
Time:  3:19 PM
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I am very happy to report that the California Mantis nymph that had been living on my Sweet Sarah clone, but vanished about a week ago, has returned, and now I haven’t seen the Green Lynx Spider.  Seems predators have some sort of hierarchy and now that the molted Mantis has grown, the Green Lynx Spider feels threatened and left.  It is interesting that this Sweet Sarah clone is the only woody plant in the garden has predators.  I wonder why that is.  It is also interesting that the little Grasshoppers that were common about a week ago have vanished, perhaps eaten.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Immature California Mantis

Dear Constant Gardener,
Your supposition of the hierarchy of predation sounds very plausible to us.  Plants give off attractants including odors to attract insects, especially female phytophagous insects that must lay eggs on the proper food plant, but it is also plausible that the smell given off by this particular plant attracts predators that are interested in insects feeding on the plants, which might help explain the disappearance of those immature Grasshoppers. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mantis on my Woody Plant
Geographic location of bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  6/21/2018
Time:  10:01 AM
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
It is another year and another growing season.  I am growing more woody plants this year than I grew last year and I observed my first young Mantis today.  Hopefully it will eat grasshoppers and other insects that might negatively affect my crop this year.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Immature California Mantis

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for the update on your gardening exploits.  We looked at some of your postings from last year and we see you did have California Mantids in your garden.  It seems they reproduced and have progeny to take up the job of patrolling your Woody Plants.  Please keep submitting images.  Many of our readers may benefit from what you are learning.

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