Subject: The Mantis on my Woody Plant is growing
Geographic location of bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
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
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.