Currently viewing the category: "Preying Mantis"

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

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.

Subject:  Praying Mantis
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
October 2, 2017
2:38 PM
Hi Daniel,
I found a desiccated praying mantis caught in a thick spider web.  Must have been sticky… aren’t they strong enough to pull themselves out of a web?
Great Autumn day, my favorite time of the year.

Mantis Exuvia

Hi Monique,
Look more closely at your image.  See the split down the back and empty shell?  This is an exuvia, the shed exoskeleton of a Preying Mantis.  Somewhere in your garden, there is probably an adult Preying Mantis.  This is the time of year they are maturing, mating and laying eggs in an ootheca in preparation for the start of a new generation next spring.

Subject:  Wasp eating Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Dayton, Ohio
Date: 09/29/2017
Time: 07:10 PM EDT
This mantis has been hanging out on our flag pole for the last 2 days. He is alive, but has been letting a wasp land on his tail for long periods at a time. Now the mantis’s tail is chewed up and half gone. Why would the mantis let the wasp do that?
How you want your letter signed:  Mike


Dear Mike,
We wish you could provide an image of the Wasp.  Generally, when wasps prey upon other insects, it is to feed their young.  We have not heard of a situation where a wasp returns to its prey repeatedly without killing it.

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Elounda, Crete, Greece
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 05:02 AM EDT
Staying in Elounda and this jumped in front of us on to a wall at night, it seemed attracted to the light on the wall.  Saw this and thought at first it might be a grasshopper but unsure?  Then saw this lovely green insect… Any clues please?
How you want your letter signed:  Sue S


Dear Sue,
This is a Mantis and we believe it is likely a male Mediterranean Mantis,
Iris oratoria, a species that has been introduced to other parts of the world including North America as this BugGuide image demonstrates.  Your other insect is a Stink Bug.

Dear Daniel
Thank you so very much for your fabulous, speedy response.
Really appreciate your suggestions.
Thanks a lot
Sue 🙂

Subject:  Three Male California Mantids
Geographic Location of the Bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  September 16, 2016
Time:  10:38 AM EDT
Saturday morning, after posting identification requests from our readership, Daniel discovered three male California Mantids in various places in the yard.  Earlier in the season, several female California Mantids were observed over time.  Daniel knows for certain there are at least three mature females in the garden now, and they are probably releasing pheromones as it is time to mate and lay eggs.  One could only hope that each female attracted her own suitor.

First Male California Mantis on the Hungarian wax pepper plant.

Male California Mantids can be distinguished from female California Mantids because males are smaller, thinner and have longer wings.  Unlike the wings of the males, the wings of the females do not reach the end of the abdomen.  Both male and female California Mantids can be brown or green.

Second male California Mantis on the screen door.

Third male California Mantis on the porch light.