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

Subject:  Mantis Ootheca and adult, female California Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/08/2018
Time: 5:30 PM PDT
We have a long overdue update on our She’s a Man-Eater posting.  Several days after the mating and cannibalistic meal that followed on our porchlight, Daniel relocated the female California Mantis in the genus
Stagmomantis (not sure if species is S. californica or S. limbata as both species are reported from Los Angeles) to the plum trees in back, and after a day, we could no longer find her, but we did locate this ootheca in the branches not far from where we released her.

Mantis Ootheca

Then we found a female Mantis nearby, but we cannot say for certain she is the same individual.  Now that January has arrived, the ootheca is still in place and it has still not hatched.

Female California Mantis

Female California Mantis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Saint Augustine, Fl
Date: 01/03/2019
Time: 05:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help us figure out what kind of bug this is!
How you want your letter signed:  St A Crew

Grizzled Mantis

Dear St A Crew,
This is a Grizzled Mantis or Florida Bark Mantis,
Gonatista grisea, a native predator that is nearly impossible to find when it is resting camouflaged on the trunk of a tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Mallorca
Date: 10/17/2018
Time: 05:11 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw this giant bug on the window of our flat and we just don’t know what it is! Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Daniel Jones

Mantis

Dear Daniel,
This is a predatory male Mantis.  Most sources call them Praying Mantids, but we prefer the more secular name Preying Mantids.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Looks like a preying mantis but it’s colorful?
Geographic location of the bug:  Bucks county, PA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 11:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bug on my wood door frame. It was highly camouflaged. When I looked back it had all these colors. I couldn’t find one similar to it online and I’m so curious!
How you want your letter signed:  Shannon G

Female Carolina Mantis

Dear Shannon,
Based on the markings on the wings, we strongly suspect that this is a female Carolina Mantis,
Stagmomantis carolina, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Your image with her wings displayed are a wonderful addition, and we verified with this BugGuide image that the colorful flight wings she has are consistent with the color and markings for the species.  According to BugGuide:  “Mantids are most commonly seen in late summer and early fall. August-frost (eastern North Carolina).”

Female California Mantis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mating California Mantids at our porch light
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 11:30 PM PDT
Daniel was up late sitting in the kitchen when a large Walnut Underwing caused him to go outside with the camera.  There has been a female California Mantid at the porch light for a few weeks now, and she has been getting fat eating moths and other insects that are attracted to the light.  Well, seems she attracted a mate, and true to her expected behavior, she bit off his head to ensure their coupling would be successful.  The next morning, the corpse was gone.  Did she finish her meal as a post-coital snack?  The female California Mantid living at the porch light last season was not so lucky.  Daniel is thinking of moving her to the plum trees where she will have numerous choices where to lay her oothecae.

Mating California Mantids

Update:  September 29, 2018
Daniel did move the Mantis to the plum trees with the hope she will lay her oothecae there.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unusual bug near swimming pool
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Beach CA
Date: 09/23/2018
Time: 03:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
I was picking up leaves on concrete near our pool and I found this beautiful insect, who almost looked like another leaf or flower.
Thanks for any ideas as to his or her identity.
How you want your letter signed:  Moira

Decapitated Male Mantis

Dear Moira,
This is a decapitated Preying Mantis, and it appears to have been a male.  It might be a male European Mantis, which is pictured on BugGuide.  We can’t think of any real predators (eliminating house cats that do not generally need to hunt to survive) that would eat the head and leave the more nourishing and palatable body behind.  There is much documentary evidence of a female Mantis eating the head of a male that is mating with her.  Though his head is gone, he still goes through the mechanical actions of mating as pictured in this image from our archives of mating Mantids.

Dear bug man,
Thanks for the insight. Wow, that realization certainly ruined my Sunday, not to
mention the mantis’s. I researched how it could still be sentient. It obviously was able to think, because before I knew what it was, I thought it looked parched and dazed. So I poured a tablespoon of water into a dead leaf ‘vessel’ in front of it, and spilled the same amount onto the concrete next to where it stood, which seeped over to its right feet. It reacted by carefully moving its feet out of the water. It was as though it did need water but couldn’t drink it. Two people on Instagram then told me what it was and one of them speculated it was a post-mating male. It even seemed to have eyes, looked at from the front, but now I know otherwise. I read that mantii can survive decapitated and half-eaten for up to six days. Then I researched invertebrates ability to feel pain, concluded that they do feel pain. I went back to it and it was being eaten by ants. I moved it to another garden location, but a couple ants still clung to it. I asked my husband later if it would have been kinder to have killed it and put it out of its misery. He thought so. By then it was dark, we were walking the dog, and it would have been hard to find. If I ever come across this again, is there a humane way to assist an insect in dying? Thanks again Moira
Moira,
There is no need to feel bad about what happened to the male Mantid.  Since this happens so frequently, it must be advantageous to the survival of the species.
Thanks Mr. Marlos.
I am amazed by nature. I’ll try to stop feeling bad about this one’s curtain call. As you told me, that’s normal behavior for this species. At least its children had an advantage getting started in life.

Moira

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination