Currently viewing the category: "Preying Mantis"

Subject:  Katydid, Cricket or Alien?
Geographic location of the bug:  South west Jordan, Middle East
Date: 11/12/2019
Time: 06:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have trawled the net to identify this bug I photographed on October 14 this year without result, can you assist please.
Insect was about 1″ long, in dry stony desert habitat.
Not perfect photos due to high ISO as getting dark.
How you want your letter signed:  Paul Lathbury, Nuneaton, U.K.

Desert Mantis: Eremiaphila species

Dear Paul,
This fascinating insect looked to us like a Mantid, and we located this unidentified, similar looking individual in
this Smithsonian posting.  We feel confident it is in the genus Eremiaphila after visiting Mantids and More .  On USMantis we learned:  “RARE AND UNUSUAL DESERT MANTIS Requires hot dry environment. The desert mantis is able to camouflage so well into its habitat. They live molt and lay ooths in the sand. They thrive in the most unforgivable environment in the desert where temperatures reach well over 100F and extremely dry.

Desert Mantis: Eremiaphila species

Hi Daniel,
That’s great thanks. I agree with your identification now that I have a reference to search on. I did see the Smithsonian posting and it is extremely similar.
Thanks again,

Subject:  Dry husk stuck on rock
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, California
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 06:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman: I found this dry husklike thing on a rock in my front yard.  I pulled it off, but didn’t;t learn anything.  I know it was once either part of some living thing, or it contained or was shielding something living.  Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Yours, Kathy O’Brien

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Kathy,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, and it does not look like it has hatched yet.  Mantids only live a single season, hatching when conditions are right in the late winter or early spring and they mature by autumn.  The female Mantis then lays one or more ootheca that will overwinter.  If you put this ootheca in a sheltered location, or try to attach it to a branch on a tree or shrub, it might still hatch this spring.  Daniel just realized there is no Bug of the Month posting for October 2019, as he neglected to create one at the beginning of the month, so this posting will be tagged as Bug of the Month.  Daniel noticed two native Mantis oothecae in the garden in the past week, so perhaps he will take some images and add to this posting.

California Mantis ootheca on native willow

Update October 15, 2019:  Two California Mantis Oothecae in the WTB? garden
When Daniel returned from work yesterday, he made a point of taking images of the two California Mantis oothecae he found over the weekend.  Though adult Mantids did not make may late season appearances in the garden, they were obviously hiding quite well as the two oothecae are far enough apart to evidence they were likely laid by two different females.

California Mantis ootheca on pine

Subject:  Unknown Mantis at work
Geographic location of the bug:  Johnson city, tx
Date: 09/26/2019
Time: 12:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey! I found what I believe to be two green European Mantids at my place of work a couple weeks ago but this morning I found this dark colored mantis hunting a fly. I’m not sure if it’s just a color variant of the same species or something different? I also will attach pics of my self identified Eurpean Mantids because I’m not 100% on my ID. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Lisa Keys

Female Carolina Mantis

Dear Lisa,
We agree with your identification of the European Mantid which can be distinguished from Chinese Mantids which have striped faces as indicated in this BugGuide image.  Your image of a female European Mantis does not show the distinguishing black spot or black spot with a white bull’s eye where the foreleg meets the body on the ventral surface as indicated on BugGuide.  The darker Mantid in question is a female Carolina Mantis, a smaller native species.  Both European Mantids and Chinese Mantids can be purchased as ootheca or egg cases for gardeners who want to control insects without spraying, which is a noble idea, however, both species are much larger than native Mantids that they will prey upon.  We do not endorse introducing non-native Mantids to the garden as we promote the preservation of native species.  Here is a BugGuide image of a Carolina Mantid.

Female European Mantis

Interesting! I thought it might be a Carolina mantis but she was so big, around 3-3.5 inches, that it threw me off a bit. I currently keep these guys as work pets since I knew the first was a non native species at least. I’m sure keeping one or two doesnt have much effect on their population if they are already in the area but I have always enjoyed keeping and caring for mantids even when I was younger. Thanks for your help!

Subject:  Looking for love in Los Angeles
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington
Date: 09/15/2019
Time: 02:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I was visiting a dear friend in Mount Washington and spotted this male praying mantis perched on a woody plant.
It appears he is searching for a female.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Male California Mantis

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
We agree that this is a male Mantis and that he is likely patrolling for a mate.  This is a California Mantis, a native species in the genus
Stagmomantis. Last year Daniel documented the mating of a pair of California Mantids that ended with him becoming a sacrificial meal to help nourish the female who promptly bit off the head of her paramour.

Subject:  Praying mantis (patreon)
Geographic location of the bug:  Lewis Center OH
Date: 09/12/2019
Time: 10:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve never seen such a pale colored mantis.  I supposed it molted recently?  It looks opalescent, so beautiful!  I found it trapped in the vestibule of the Tim Hortons.
How you want your letter signed:  Jennifer Huffman

Female Carolina Mantis

Dear Jennifer,
This is an adult female Carolina Mantis.  Though she has wings, she is not capable of flight.  Only the adult males can fly.  Carolina Mantids can be either brown or green, and sometimes a combination.  Though this individual is light, the color does not seem unusually light to us.  Because of your kindness prompting you to release this Carolina Mantis from the vestibule where you found her trapped, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What an honor!  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my husband, who patiently waits for me to inspect and photograph bugs everywhere we go.

Sorry one follow up question … on your site it seems to be spelled “preying” mantis, but I had always understood the word as “praying” mantis?

Hi again Jennifer.  We know that Praying Mantis is the more common spelling, but we prefer Preying Mantis.  Here is an explanation we gave a reader 13 years ago.

Subject:  Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 05/17/2019
Time: 06:32 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
My Cannabis sprouts are growing, and I just found this tiny Mantis on one of the plants.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Mantis hatchling

Dear Constant Gardener,
We appreciate your first submission of 2019 and we eagerly await more documentation of the insects associated with your 2019 crop.