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

Subject:  Some kind of Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Colombia, South America
Date: 12/06/2017
Time: 06:37 PM EDT
Hey bugman!
Once again, another bug fella just flew through my window, but this is the rarest (for me, at least) yet! I know it’s some kind of Praying Mantis but it is really small. Like less than one inch.
P. S. Sorry for the low quality pics, the little guy was flying really fast.
How you want your letter signed:  Stranded, Daniel

Mantis or Mantispid???

Dear Daniel,
Had you not mentioned the small size, we would have agreed that this is a species of Mantis, and we are still categorizing it as such, but we now question that it might be an unrelated predator that resembles a Mantis that is known as a Mantispid or Mantisfly.  Your individual appears as though the wings are in the rest position with only one upper wing on top, covering the other three wings.  Mantispids generally have two upper wings that meet in the middle when at rest.  Perhaps Cesar Crash will have knowledge of South American Mantids that are very small.

Mantis or Mantispid???

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unusual mantid
Geographic location of the bug:  San Antonio, Tx
Date: 11/19/2017
Time: 06:58 PM EDT
We are having unusual weather (albeit weather varies by the hour here!) and a cold front blew through yesterday. I returned home this afternoon to this beautiful specimen outside my garage. This is not the normal plains mantid I am used to seeing around my house, and am marveling at how much larger it appears! Do you have any basic identification to send me to look at so I can tell my son a little about it?
How you want your letter signed:  Bug lover

Texas Unicorn Mantis

Dear Bug lover,
We believe based on this and some other BugGuide images, that this is a male mantis in the genus
Stagmomantis, and there are several members of the genus found in Texas.  This is a native genus, and compared to introduced species like the Chinese Mantis and the European Mantis, it is much smaller in size.  Furthermore, the males are smaller than the females.  We do not know the “plains mantid” to which you refer.  Can you please be more specific about the “plains mantid”?

Correction:  Texas Unicorn Mantis
We received a comment from Michael correcting our initial identification.  Enlarging the head revealed the “horn” we originally missed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Update on our 25,000th Posting
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  10/28/2017
Time:  10:00 PM
Three weeks ago we went live with our 25,000th posting, and the female California Mantis that has been living on our porch light is still there.  We don’t know if she mated with the male from that posting, or ate him, or if he just flew off, but she is swelling.  We know she is eating well.  We have seen her eating a Painted Tiger Moth and we watched her catch another moth, but yesterday evening, we arrived home to find her feasting on a female Scudder’s Bush Katydid that was attracted to the light.  It seems she is ready to begin producing oothecae, and we can’t decide if we should relocate her to a shrub, or leave her and let nature take its course, but as the weather begins to cool, we fear she is nearing the end of her life and we hope she produces progeny.

Mantis Eats Katydid (image courtesy of Susan Lutz)


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Grasshopper on a mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Korean field of Tanchon river
Date: 10/22/2017
Time: 06:27 AM EDT
Me and my Indian friend, Priyam were strolling for an walk when we saw a grasshopper on a mantis. No kidding, the mantis did’nt even bother to take the grasshopper of. We gently held it. Nor the grasshopper or the mantis tried to escape. What were these bugs doing??
How you want your letter signed:  By email

Mantis and Grasshopper

We believe this is most likely a chance encounter.  Mantids are well camouflaged among twigs and Grasshoppers rest on twigs.  This is a fascinating image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:Long bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Great lakes
Date: 10/18/2017
Time: 05:47 PM EDT
I saw this bug on my step. It was being attacked by bees that have a nest under my siding.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you.

Chinese Mantis

This is a Chinese Mantis which is described on BugGuide as being:  “Tan to pale green. Vertically striped face. Forewings tan with green along front margin.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Widely distributed in the U.S. due to the availability of commercially purchased egg-cases.”  We strongly suspect you are mistaked that:  “It was being attacked by bees that have a nest under my siding.”  It is much more likely that its attackers were Yellowjackets or Hornets.

Thank you Daniel for getting back to me. What a great and interesting website. Best of luck to you. Once again Thanks for the information. Doug Oyler Erie PA

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed Note: We knew that we were getting close to our 25,000th posting for a few months now, and we decided to check today, but we were caught by surprise to find out we were at 24,999.  We decided to make this one special, a little different from our usual identification requests, so we decided to post the images Daniel just shot of a pair of California Mantids at the porch light, and perhaps to wax philosophically about what we hope we are accomplishing by publishing our humble site, now beginning its 16th year as a unique website.

Female California Mantis on the porch light

For years we have been running images, generally late in the season, of California Mantids attracted to the porch light to catch insects.  Male Mantids that can fly are much more common than are flightless females that have a more difficult time reaching the light, so this female was something of an anomaly.  Later in the day, she was joined by a male California Mantis who was probably attracted by her pheromones.  We thought we would take this opportunity with this significant milestone of 25,000 postings to expound a bit on our philosophy of a healthy ecosystem in the garden.  Mature predators like these Mantids catch larger insects, and adult Mantids are much more visible in the garden, but the real significance of having predators is the number of smaller insects they consume while growing.  Young Mantids, barely a centimeter in length hatch in the spring, and they perform an incalculable benefit with the large numbers of tiny insects they eat while growing.  Having a healthy population of predators in your garden throughout the year will help control many insect pests without the use of pesticides.

A pair of California Mantids

Though we have numerous identification request awaiting our attention, we have decided to take the rest of the day off and let our 25,000th posting stand alone today.  We will return tomorrow and we will try to catch up on unanswered mail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination