Praying Mantis Eggs: All You Need to Know in a Quick Guide

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Praying mantis eggs, also known as oothecas, are unique egg cases that house the tiny mantids in various stages of development. They can hold anywhere from dozens to hundreds of eggs, offering protection from the elements and predators. Oothecas are fascinating, both for mantis enthusiasts and those interested in the life cycle of these incredible insects.

There are several species of mantids found in the United States, with the native Carolina mantis, and the introduced Chinese and European mantids being a few examples source. Each species’ ootheca is slightly different in appearance: for instance, Carolina mantis oothecas are smaller and flatter, whereas Chinese mantids have a larger and rounder egg case (source).

Oothecas can be found on a variety of surfaces, such as branches, stems, walls, and fences in the fall and winter months source. These egg cases are essential for praying mantis populations, as they help ensure the survival of the next generation of these fascinating predators.

Praying Mantis Egg Basics

Ootheca

The ootheca is the protective covering that houses and provides shelter to praying mantis eggs. An example of an ootheca shape and size is a foam-like, hard structure that can be around 1-2 inches long.

Egg Sac

The Egg Sac is another term used for the ootheca, which contains multiple eggs and offers protection throughout their development. It attaches to surfaces like branches or leaves.

Egg Case

Similar to the Egg Sac, the Egg Case refers to the ootheca containing praying mantis eggs. Egg cases can vary in shape, color, and size, depending on the mantis species.

Feature Ootheca Egg Sac Egg Case
Purpose Protective cover for eggs Provides shelter to eggs Enclosing structure for eggs
Material Foam-like, hard similar to Ootheca similar to Egg Sac
  • Characteristics of Praying Mantis Egg Coverings (ootheca, egg sac, egg case)
    • Protective
    • Can house multiple eggs
    • Attaches to surfaces like leaves and branches

Life Cycle and Hatching

Nymphs

Praying mantis eggs, or ootheca, are laid by a female in a foamy structure that hardens into a protective covering. Inside the ootheca are 200 or more eggs. The egg case is the only part of the life cycle that can survive frost and overwinter.

  • Hatching in the summer
  • Nymphs resemble smaller, wingless adults

These eggs hatch within the summer and release nymphs, which are smaller and wingless versions of adult mantids. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis and grow through a series of molts.

Adulthood

As the mantids grow, they transition into adults that can be 2 to 5 inches long in general and come in various colors like brown, green, or yellowish. The adult praying mantises possess leathery wings and are well-known for their unique mating behavior. Let’s look at two common mantis species found in North America:

Species Habitat Adult Size
North American Mantis USA, Canada 2-5 inches
China Mantis East Asia, USA 2-4 inches

In the fall season, the mating process occurs between males and females. Post-mating, females lay more ootheca, ensuring survival for the next generation.

Key Features

  • Females lay 200-300 eggs in an ootheca
  • Hatching occurs in summer
  • Nymphs molt and grow into adults
  • Mating takes place in the fall

Factors affecting hatching

  • Temperature: Hatching occurs during warmer months; overwintering helps eggs to survive cold conditions
  • Humidity: Maintaining proper humidity levels can help in hatching success

In summary, praying mantis eggs develop and hatch seasonally, with nymphs growing into adults before the mating process takes place. Understanding the factors affecting hatching, such as temperature and humidity, can aid in their conservation and potential pest control usage.

Care and Handling

Temperature Requirements

Caring for a mantid ootheca properly involves maintaining the appropriate temperature. Most species require temperatures between 65°F and 75°F. However, depending on the mantis species, the optimal temperature could range from 55°F to 85°F. Ensure you research the specific needs of your mantis species to provide the ideal environment.

Humidity

Humidity is crucial for the healthy development of praying mantis eggs. Maintain humidity around 60% to 80% for a majority of species. To increase humidity, mist the ootheca gently with water or place a shallow container of water in their environment while maintaining proper ventilation.

Caring for Mantis Eggs as Pets

Caring for praying mantis egg sacks as pets can be a rewarding experience. Some key factors to consider include:

  • Location: Attach the ootheca to a twig, walls, or eaves, as described by Kansas State University, and place it in a suitable container.
  • Container: Use a well-ventilated container that prevents the nymphs from escaping. The container should have tiny holes for air exchange but not large enough for the nymphs to escape.
  • Substrate: Provide a clean substrate, such as paper towels, lightly misted with water to maintain humidity.

Mantis Eggs Comparison:

Factors Carolina Mantis Chinese Mantis
Ootheca Appearance Smaller, flatter, resembles a fossilized trilobite source Larger, foam-like mass source
Temperature Similar: 65°F – 75°F Similar: 65°F – 75°F
Humidity Similar: 60% – 80% Similar: 60% – 80%

Remember, always research the specific needs of the mantis species you have to ensure a healthy environment.

Mating and Reproduction

Male and Female Mantis Behavior

Male and female mantises exhibit distinct reproductive behaviors. Males are generally smaller, more agile, and have a higher capacity for flight. Females, on the other hand, are larger with an appetite to match, sometimes resulting in the cannibalism of their mate. This behavior often occurs during or shortly after mating.

Process of Mating and Laying Eggs

The mating process for praying mantises involves the male carefully approaching the female and jumping onto her back. If successful, the male then engages in copulation but may risk being eaten by the female mantis during this process. After mating, female mantises focus on egg-laying. Oothecas, or egg cases, are essential for protecting the eggs from predators and harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow.

Features of oothecas:

  • Hardened, foam-like structure
  • Straw-colored
  • Attached to stems, branches, or fences

Female mantises lay their eggs on various surfaces, such as branches, stems, or fences, and produce oothecas to encase their eggs. Example of ootheca placement:

Oothecas vary in size depending on the mantis species, with the native Carolina mantis having a longer and narrower ootheca compared to the Chinese mantis. They serve as excellent camouflage, helping the eggs remain hidden. Once the eggs are safely deposited, females leave the scene, and the new mantises will hatch in spring, with diet, cooler temperatures, and seasonal changes playing a role in their development.

Feature Carolina Mantis Chinese Mantis
Ootheca Size Longer and narrower Larger
Egg Placement Branches, walls, sides of houses Small stems and twigs
Color Similar to branches and stems Straw-colored
Overwintering Yes Yes
Mating Season Fall Fall

Integration in Gardens and Pest Control

Garden Role

Praying mantis egg cases, or oothecae, can be found in gardens attached to branches or other surfaces. The Carolina mantis ootheca is smaller, flatter, and often found on flat vertical surfaces. Alternatively, the Chinese mantis ootheca is larger, beige, and has round edges.

The presence of praying mantises in a garden can have the following effects:

  • Consumption of various insects
  • Natural pest control
  • Attraction of other predators

Natural Pest Control

Praying mantises are predators that actively search for their prey, making them helpful in controlling garden pests. However, it’s important to note that they are generalist predators and not specific to any particular pest. The goal of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to keep pest populations below economically relevant levels, and mantises can play a role in that process.

Pros Cons
Control various insect pests Generalist, not pest-specific
Attraction of other predators May consume beneficial insects

As generalist predators, they may also consume other beneficial insects. Careful consideration should be given when deciding to release praying mantises into a garden as part of a pest management strategy.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Polyphemus Moth Cocoon

 

Subject: What is this?
Location: Wisconsin
August 6, 2012 8:11 pm
After a storm some branches fell down in the yard. My kids found this attached to one of them. It is about the size of a marshmellow. It looks to big to me to be spiders and I’m assuming spiders wouldn’t have egg sacs high up in trees. My kids have it in a bug catcher waiting for it to hatch. I am curious if we’ll have to wait until spring and if hundreds of little bugs will come out or just one large moth/butterfly
Signature: HOllie

Cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth

Hi Hollie,
We believe this appears to be the ootheca or egg case of a preying mantis, but the grass adhering to it is confusing.  We wonder if that happened in the fall
.

really you’re thinking praying mantis? That’s interesting because we hatched two praying mantis egg cases this year and let them all go in the yard but kept one as a pet. We have raised them before and I never would’ve guessed that just based on the size. I was confused by the grass as well. It was soft and squishy when they found it and now it’s hard. So maybe it was fairly new and then the rain on top of it pushed the grass into it? Some one told me they thought it might be a giant moth. I guess we will just have to wait and see 🙂 Thanks so much for the response! I’ll be sure to let you know when it hatches. Even if it’s next spring
Thanks again,
Hollie

Hi again Hollie,
We might be wrong, but your explanation of the grass becoming embedded when the mystery object was “soft and squishy” makes sense if this is a mantis ootheca.  It seems a bit early in the year for a mantis ootheca though, especially in Wisconsin.  We had thought of the possibility of a Moth Cocoon, but there does not appear to be any silk attaching the structure to the twig.  What tree did the branches come from?  Were the branches dead or alive?  Knowing if the tree is the known food source of any Moths would be helpful.  Most of the large moths that live in your area incorporate leaves into their cocoons in the case of the Saturniidae or form a naked pupa in the case of the Sphingidae.

There are three trees in the area it fell from and unfortunately, the only one I can identify is a maple, which is also the most unlikely one it came from. We just purchased this property about a month ago, so I’m unsure what these trees are. I attached some photos of the leaves. Whatever they are, something seems to be eating all the leaves, beetles maybe?. I tried identifying the trees on line. The best I could come up with was some sort of ash tree, or elm tree.  The more I look at it though, the more I think it is definitely not a praying mantis. Since we’ve raised those in the past I think I’d recognize it and it doesn’t seem to look the same as those, nor is it as hard. I also attached another photo of the cocoon (?) in question. I do see silky strands but not many. I don’t remember if the brach was dead or not, but I do not remember any leaves on it, and I remember breaking it off fairly easily, so Im guessing dead.
Thanks again

Cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth

Thanks for the update Hollie,
With the additional information and new photograph, we are now inclined to believe this is the cocoon of a Giant Silkmoth in the family Saturniidae.  It seems compact for a Cecropia Cocoon, but Cecropia Moths do not use leaves in the formation of the cocoon.  We will try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide any information.

Thanks for the additional info. I am excited to see what it is. I assume it will not hatch until next spring. My kids just love bugs and finding things to hatch is always exciting for them. Now that I’m confident it’s not going to produce a million small spiders i feel better about hatching it.

WTB? Contacts Bill Oehlke
Hi Bill,
This cocoon and its branch fell from an unknown tree in Wisconsin.  The grass most likely became adhered during the fall.  It seems compact for a Cecropia Cocoon.  So many Saturniidae use a leaf in cocoon construction.  Are you able to identify this cocoon?
Thanks
Daniel
What’s That Bug?

Bill Oehlke Responds
Daniel,
It is an Antheraea polyphemus cocoon.

Letter 2 – Preying Mantis Preys upon Ruby Throated Hummingbird

 

Prey of the Praying Mantis
Location: Biggsville, Il.
October 9, 2011 7:07 am
I was going to post this to your general comment site but there wasn’t any place for a picture. I took this Tues. Oct. 4th. I assume this was the last Hummingbird in the garden. I have had quite a few Praying Mantises in the garden this year and many butterflies fell prey to them but when I saw this Hummingbird in it’s grasp I was truly amazed. I’d heard stories but only thought they were campfire stories much like a Hummingbird flying south on a gooses back.
Signature: Randy Anderson

Preying Mantis eats Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Dear Randy,
We are truly honored that you have submitted your amazing Food Chain images to our website.  We would strongly urge you to post a comment to our posting in the event that anyone out there in cyberspace is interested in using your images for some purpose in the future.  We cannot stop internet piracy and we realize there are many folks with questionable ethics that might try to steal your images.  As least we do not post the high resolution images and people are only able to easily grab the thumbnails.  While we are certain that your photos may horrify some of our sensitive readers because Hummingbirds are so beloved, they also represent the possibilities that occur in nature.  Perhaps the Hummingbird was old or feeble.  A large female Preying Mantis is a formidable hunter and her raptorial front legs have a strong grasp.  We also have an image buried in our archives of a Golden Orbweaver that captured and fed upon a Hummingbird.  Thanks again for allowing us to share your images with our readership.

Preying Mantis eats Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Letter 3 – Minor Ground Mantid

 

Camo Mantis Desert Bug
November 24, 2009
Greetings! I found this lovely little creature in the far western Sonora Desert in the cool of the evening in September. It looked rather like a mantis but moved very quickly across the ground. It was about 3/4 of an inch long. I was lucky to see him at all, I just happened to be looking right there. His camouflage was amazing! And like I said, he was very fast, which does not seem normal for a mantis. Ideas?
bludatta
western Arizona, Sonora Desert

Minor Ground Mantid
Minor Ground Mantid

Dear bludatta,
We believe this is a Ground Mantid in the genus Litaneutria, most like Litaneutria minor which Charles Hogue calls the Minor Ground Mantid.  It is an active species that runs quickly.  BugGuide has additional images.

Letter 4 – Moss Mimic Mantis from Costa Rica: Pogonogaster tristani

 

Subject: Could you please help me put a name to this mantis?
Location: Costa Rica, Heredia Province mountains
July 31, 2012 9:13 am
Hi.
Found this beautiful mantis with moss camouflage in the north part of the Costa Rican Central Valley (mountains).
Could you please provide me with a scientific name?
Thanks
Signature: Oscar Blanco

Moss Mimic Mantis

Hi Oscar,
Your photos are stunning and we imagine a Mantis expert should have no problem with a species identity thanks to your specific location information.  The best we could come up with in a short time is this similar looking Moss Mimic Mantis from Costa Rica on the Minibeast Wildlife Rainforest Encounters website (with a comment that identifies the genus as
Pseudoacanthops) and image on a French Website Elevage de Mantes Exotiques et Francaisesthat looks like a perfect match to your mantis.  Alas, we do not speak French, though Costa Rica is mentioned several times in the comments as is the genus name Pseudoacanthops.  Perhaps one of our readers will supply some useful information.  If you ever learn the answer, please let us know.

Moss Mimic Mantis

 

Letter 5 – Mount Washington California Mantid update

 

Subject:  California Mantids
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
June 24, 2016
We continue to see small California Mantids in the garden, but this growing youngster is about an inch and a half long and we moved it from the front door to the hoja santa plant.  Low light in the early evening, and shallow depth of field make for a less than acceptable image.

Immature California Mantid
Immature California Mantid

Letter 6 – Murdered Mantis

 

Mr. bugman,
I am 11 y.o. i had a praying mantis, and fed him many bugs, mostly crickets and butterflys. I put in a katydid (my dad thinks) with a stinger like thing in his cage. When I checked on him, he was dead and his head was eaten off by this katydid thing half his size. What was it, I still have it? I thought they only ate plants. Can you help me with this question. My dad and I cant find too much out on the web, but we ran into this site and thought we would try you.
Cool Site!
Thanks,
Zack E, and dad

Dear Zack,
The stinger you describe was the ovipositor of the female katydid. They are not predatory, and I have not heard of a situation of a katydid killing a mantis. I can tell you that katydids are not the typical food source for mantids. Normally they eat bees, butterflies, skippers, flower flies and other small flying insects. Your murder is a mystery to me and perhaps needs some additional crime scene investigation. Is it possible that ants got to the already dead mantis and devoured the head?

Letter 7 – Murderess: Mating Mantids

 

Mating Mantis
Hi Bugman,
I noticed quite a few mating mantis photos on the site, but didn’t see one like this: the male has been decapitated by the female after mating (yet still attached to the female) – quite gruesome! The photo was taken while the pair were on our butterfly bush in Newcastle, CA. And a follow up to the CA Prionus beetle stridulation. They’ve just recently returned and I was able to harass (gently of course) one to induce that freaky sound! This one got pretty fired up and was rubbing both hind legs vigorously across the sides of its closed outer wings.
Ann

Hi Ann,
Thanks for the awesome addition to our site.  The female Preying Mantis is one of those creatures notorious for cannibalizing her mate.

Letter 8 – New Zealand Mantis

 

Subject: what is this green creature?
Location: New Zealand, Wairarapa
March 10, 2014 6:37 pm
Hi – that’s on/around our window for more than 2 weeks… quite big, and “social”.
It looks funny and I tried to identify what is it: it has only 4 legs and no claws, and it’s bright green.
thanks!
Signature: teodora

Mantis
New Zealand Mantis

Dear Teodora,
This is a Preying Mantis and you are mistaken on the number of legs.  You are counting the four walking legs, but not the pair of raptorial front legs that are being held tightly to the body.  The raptorial legs are the pair used to grab prey.  We cannot be certain, but we suspect this may be a native and endemic species, the New Zealand Mantis,
Orthodera novaezealandiae, which is pictured on GrahameNZ Photographix and Friends of Te Henui where the yellow antennae are visible.  Canterbury Nature has a nice profile on the New Zealand Mantis, and the distinctive purple spot on the inside of the foreleg femur is described, but unfortunately not visible in your photo.  We are relatively certain your Mantis is the New Zealand Mantis, and not the South African import, Miomantis caffra, which is likely competing with the native species, possibly threatening its survival.  According to TERRAIN:  “The Miomantis caffra  usually hides under leaves  ….  Although not considered a pest species, it is thought to be displacing the New Zealand native species (Orthodera novaezealandiae) in urban environments of northern New Zealand.”

great! thank you a lot! 🙂

Letter 9 – Newly Molted, Immature Preying Mantis from Tanzania

 

Newly Molted Mantis
Newly Molted Mantis

Subject: white praying mantis
Location: tanzania
October 15, 2014 3:56 am
Hi there,
We found this praying mantis on our door in tanzania, it wasn’t very large but the lack of pigmentation made it intriguing. It was in September in Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa. Wondered if you could be of help!
Signature: Ryan

Dear Ryan,
We believe the reason this Mantis is so light is that it is freshly molted and its exoskeleton has still not hardened and darkened.  Furthermore, we are unable to identify its species as it is an immature specimen.

Letter 10 – Ootheca of a Preying Mantis

 

Subject: Cocoon Identification
Location: Tecumseh, MI
January 1, 2017 12:22 pm
I have found three cocoons of a type, which I have never seen before in my yard. I raise butterflies and moths and am familiar with the cocoons of species which I usually see in my yard. I have included a picture of two of the cocoons. All of them were on plants on the South side of my house. One was on a rose bush, another on a Ninebark bush – both of these were out in the open. The third was buried in some Gaillardia which had died back for the Winter. These would have been formed very late in the Fall – probably in November. In the picture the front of the cocoon is pictured on the left. You can see the shape and that it has ridges from top to bottom, which go all the way around. The right side of the picture shows how the cocoon is attached to the plant. Just one small strip at the top holds it on. The bottom of the cocoon is a very light tan and also has ridges. The texture is almost like styrofoam. I live in Southeast lower Michigan Latitude/Longitude 42.0039, -83.9449. If this is something I have never seen, I would like to over winter the cocoons in my garage. Thank you for any information, which you can give me.
Signature: Jan Graves

Mantis Ootheca
Mantis Ootheca

Dear Jan,
This is not a cocoon.  It is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis and come spring, several hundred hatchlings should emerge.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. The links which you supplied definitely depict what I found.  I will leave them where they are and hope that I am  lucky enough to see some of the little Preying Mantis when they emerge.
Jan Graves

Letter 11 – Peruvian Shield Mantis from Honduras

 

green insect
March 30, 2010
we saw this bug in honduras, in the cloud forest. it was eating the dead flies which got killed by getting too close to the light bulb on the porch.
trip to honduras
honduras, central

Peruvian Shield Mantis

Despite its name, the Peruvian Shield Mantis, Choeradodis rhombicollis, is also found in Central America.  We located a photo and the scientific name on the Trade Bit website, and then we found its range on the Terra Typica website.

Letter 12 – Pink Mottled Indian Mantid

 

Identify this Indian mantis
Love the site. I’m in Madurai, South India, and mantids are very very common here. It’s quite commonplace to see 3-4 different species in the course of a day. However, i have never seen a mantis such as this. This mantis was spotted late morning, hanging from a clothesline. It was about 3 inches in length, not including the antennae. As you can see, the body was mottled pink and green. However, I have never seen a mantis with such feathered antennae, which should be quite obvious from the pictures. Could you identify this mantis?
Rohan

Hi Rohan,
Though we can’t give you a species name on your mantid, we are pleased to post the images. Perhaps someone will write in with an identification. Some tropical mantids are bright pink and mimic orchids and other flowers.

Update (04/27/2006)
I have a feeling that the other unknown indian mantis, the pinkish one, is a color variant of a member of the Family Empusidae, and the genus Empusa. However, without detailed pictures of the nymphs, I’m not sure I can tell the species. My guess would be species pennata, but I’m not sure if they are found in India. It’s a male and its unusual coloration is probably a product of its environment (I’ve found even domestic praying mantis species have some active color mimicry capability after each molt) humidity and temperature also play a role. Incredible pictures, I hope this helped somewhat. Regards,
Ian

Update (06/15/2006)
The Indian mantis (the pink, feather-antennae one) is almost undoubtedly a color variant of a mantis that can be found at http://www.museumkiev.org/photo/empusa.jpg (the label is in Russian, I think), Empusa fasciata. Hope this helped,
Dylan Juedeman

Update (06/16/2006):
Hi the pink mottled Indian mantis is Empusa fasciata. They look very similar to Empusa pennata but live on the opposite side of the Meditteranean Sea.
john morfitt UK

Letter 13 – Praying mantis

 

Hi, Bugman.
Is it true that a male praying mantis must have his head bitten off by the female he is mating with, in order to ejaculate? If so, that would be quite a decision to make, it seems to me! For the male, that is. And is this uncommon in the insect world? What might be the reason for this to be the case with the praying mantis?
M. Mattison
Oslo, Norway
(the praying mantis is referred to as a "kneeler" in Norway)

Hi Mark,
While it is not necessary for the male preying mantis to be beheaded in order to consumate the mating ritual, the female mantis will occasionally bite off her mate’s head. Much like a chicken with its head cut off, the male mantis will continue to perform actions, in this case, continuing the mating procedure. The male mantis doesn’t really make a decision in this matter. He is a slave to his hormones. It is fair to call this behavior uncommon in the insect world, though many female spiders, including the black widow, also devour their mate, which gets to the main reason this occurs. The female requires a considerable amount of nutrition to produce strong eggs, and to survive to protect them as well. The sacrifice of the male of the species helps to ensure that a healthy future generation gets off to a good start. It is for the good of the species, not the survival of the individual. "Kneeler" is an interesting local name. I wonder what its origin is. Here are some photos I love. They are steps 4 and 5 in the mating of the Preying Mantis shot by Catherine Chalmers for her book Food Chain: Encounters Between Mates, Predators, and Prey published by Aperture.

Thanks a lot for your explanation. And what is the correct spelling? "Preying" or "praying?" Both of them make sense. As for the reason why they’re called "kneeles" in Norwegian, I will try to find out. Thanks again.
Mark Mattison

Both spellings are correct, depending upon the author. I prefer to spotlight the hunting versus the religious connotation.

I now believe that the Norwegian name "kneeler" is from the same reason we say "praying" mantis: you kneel when you pray. At least if you accept the "praying" spelling. At least it makes sense. Why didn’t I think of that
before?
Mark

Letter 14 – Praying Mantis

 

Dear Mr. Bugman,
A couple years ago when I was a courier in Philadelphia I found a Praying Mantis in an office building elevator, so I took her outside and let her go. Then a couple days later I found another one in a different building’s elevator ! This has been keeping me awake nights ever since. Should I worry about some ancient chinese curse or expect some munificent blessing ?
Colin Barclay

We have lost the original reply to Colin’s letter, but we assured him that he would fall victim to no curse, and helping the poor Mantids could only result in blessings.

Letter 15 – Praying Mantis: Man Eater

 


Hi, Bugman.
Is it true that a male praying mantis must have his head bitten off by the female he is mating with, in order to ejaculate? If so, that would be quite a decision to make, it seems to me! For the male, that is. And is this uncommon in the insect world? What might be the reason for this to be the case with the praying mantis?
M. Mattison
Oslo, Norway
(the praying mantis is referred to as a "kneeler" in Norway)

Hi Mark,
While it is not necessary for the male preying mantis to be beheaded in order to consumate the mating ritual, the female mantis will occasionally bite off her mate’s head. Much like a chicken with its head cut off, the male mantis will continue to perform actions, in this case, continuing the mating procedure. The male mantis doesn’t really make a decision in this matter. He is a slave to his hormones. It is fair to call this behavior uncommon in the insect world, though many female spiders, including the black widow, also devour their mate, which gets to the main reason this occurs. The female requires a considerable amount of nutrition to produce strong eggs, and to survive to protect them as well. The sacrifice of the male of the species helps to ensure that a healthy future generation gets off to a good start. It is for the good of the species, not the survival of the individual. "Kneeler" is an interesting local name. I wonder what its origin is. Here are some photos I love. They are steps 4 and 5 in the mating of the Preying Mantis shot by Catherine Chalmers for her book Food Chain: Encounters Between Mates, Predators, and Prey published by Aperture.

Thanks a lot for your explanation. And what is the correct spelling? "Preying" or "praying?" Both of them make sense. As for the reason why they’re called "kneeles" in Norwegian, I will try to find out. Thanks again.
Mark Mattison

Both spellings are correct, depending upon the author. I prefer to spotlight the hunting versus the religious connotation.

I now believe that the Norwegian name "kneeler" is from the same reason we say "praying" mantis: you kneel when you pray. At least if you accept the "praying" spelling. At least it makes sense. Why didn’t I think of that
before?
Mark

Letter 16 – Preying (as opposed to Praying) Mantids

 

Mantis
September 15, 2011 7:24 am
I believe you incorrectly spell the name of the Praying Mantis as “Preying” on your website. I have checked various sources and it is spelled with an “a” because the front legs look like they are “praying” not because it is a predator that preys.  Thanks for your great website!
Signature: Pat

Hi Pat,
Thanks for your comment.  Our editorial staff prefers the more secular modifier “Preying” to the homonym “Praying” because while Mantids might appear to pray, they do not, and they most definitely do prey.  We understand that the name Praying Mantis is more acceptable, but unlike the rigidity of the scientific binomial naming system, common names have more flexibility, and we firmly believe language should be malleable.

Letter 17 – Preying Mantis, but what species?

 

Dear Prof.
November 17, 2009
I found A praying Mantis on Santa Monica Boulevard! just wanted to show you it.
SALVADOR CHAVEZ
Santa Monica Boulevard near entrance to 101 freeway

Preying Mantis
Preying Mantis

Hi Sal,
Thanks for sending this photo of a Preying Mantis.  Also, congratulations on you winning the top prize from a field of 64 photographers in the photography competition at the College Media Advisers’ 2009 convention in Austin, Texas.  Though I was unable to attend, I am very proud of you and the other LACC Collegian students who collectively picked up four awards.  I am proud to have had you as a beginning photo student.

Editor’s Note:  August 24, 2012
We just received a comment identifying this as
Mantis religiosa

Letter 18 – Preying Mantis: Civil Disobedience and Mating Activity

 

thought you might enjoy this image
i took it the other day next to my front door. feel free if you’d like to use it.

this one is from my nursery about a month ago. my camera battery died before they finished which is a real shame, because she turned on him and ate him.
pete veilleux
oakland , ca

Hi Pete,
We love both of your photos. The disobedient Preying Mantis and the “No Hunting” sign is exactly the type of image that we would include in a future calendar if we ever manage to produce another. Your mating Mantid image is also quite stunning, especially in light of the information you provided.

Letter 19 – Preying Mantis, Dispelling Fears and Inspiring Spiritual Promises

 

Identification Request: No question, just sharing some bug love.
Location: Warren, MI
November 14, 2011 1:07 pm
We found this little girl on our fence the other day. 2 of my girls ran screaming, but then came up to hold it after I held it. My other daughter wasn’t afraid at all. It kept trying to climb on top of my head, and I don’t mind bugs, but I have my limits. Hope you enjoy them like we did. Oh, and afterwards, my oldest says let’s go on that creepy bug site to look up if it’s a male or female.
Signature: Trying hard to love all God’s creatures.

Impressionistic Photo of Preying Mantis

Dear ThtlaGc,
The creepy bug site wishes your photo was of higher resolution, but it appears your daughter has a female Preying Mantis in hand.  The bug appears to be fecund.

Letter 20 – Preying Mantis Ootheca

 

Subject:  Cocoon?
Geographic location of the bug:  Aripeka Preserve, FL
Date: 01/02/2018
Time: 06:13 AM EDT
Saw this during a recent hike in Central FL, Gulf Coast. It looks distinctive, but I’m stumped…
Thanks in advance, and happy new year!
How you want your letter signed:  Frank

Mantis Ootheca

After a bit more Googling and brainstorming, I located some photos of very similar looking structures that had been ID’d as some type of mantis egg case. Am I in the right track?

Dear Frank
Your googling provided you with the correct information.  This is a Mantis ootheca or egg case, and it looks to be that of a native species, probably the ootheca of a Carolina Mantis which is pictured on the Bug of the Week site.  The ootheca of a California Mantis looks quite similar.

Letter 21 – Preying Mantis Ootheca

 

Subject:  Bug or fossil?
Geographic location of the bug:  Saw Washington state
Date: 02/19/2018
Time: 02:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have no idea what this is. It was found in Southwest Washington state and is the second one we found. The first one was a couple months ago this one was just found a couple days ago (that would be early February). At first I thought it was a fossil but now I’m not so sure. If you can’t tell me what it is do you know who I might ask that’s local to Southwest Washington?
How you want your letter signed:  M.c.hlousek

Mantis Ootheca

Dear M.c.hlousek,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, but we cannot say for certain if it is a native species or a species introduced for agricultural purposes.  When conditions are correct, you should expect young mantids to hatch and begin hunting.

Letter 22 – Preying Mantis Oothica

 

Praying Mantis Egg Case
Hi Bugman,
I thought that you would like this picture of the egg case that I found in the woods across the street from my house. How many praying Mantis nymphs do you think will come out of this egg case? I live in Wayne County Michigan. I love your website!
Thanks.
Jacob Barnaby Age (9)
The Barnaby Family

Hi Jacob,
Several hundred young mantids will emerge from your Ootheca when the temperature is correct.

Letter 23 – Preying Mantis Oothica

 

what’s this?
we found this in the corner of our fence, and I am assuming it’s some kind of cocoon, since there isn’t any opening. I have been searching the net for moths in oregon, to see if I could find a picture of it, but I have had no luck. Do you know what it could be? It looks like layers of paper, but there isn’t any opening, so I know it’s not a wasp.
ali in oregon

Hi Ali,
This is a Preying Mantis Egg Case, known as an Ootheca. It will hatch into several hundred baby mantids.

Letter 24 – Preying Mantis Ootheca

 

what is that bug
Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:56 AM
we just moved into a new home country home which is something i had promised the girls as my 5 year plan and the children love it. as the snow melted they have been discovering nature and ran accross some of these. this cocoon is about as big around as a quarter. and there is one on every bush and tree. the highest i have seen them is about five foot off the ground. teach this city girl and her children something about nature. what is this bug. i hope my picture is good enough.
maria ross
ohio

Preying Mantis Ootheca
Preying Mantis Ootheca

Congratulations on your move Maria,
Though we love our Los Angeles home, having a country home in Ohio, the state of our roots, would be a dream.  This is a Preying Mantis Ootheca.  Come warm weather, about 200 baby Preying Mantids will emerge.  Judging by the number of Ootheca you describe, you should have a healthy adult population in the Fall.  Young Mantids are often difficult to spot in the yard and garden, but flying adults with their large size are usually quite visible.

Letter 25 – Preying Mantis Ootheca

 

cocoons on pecan tree
Location: Cottonwood, Arizona
November 15, 2010 12:48 pm
Found several of these on our peecan tree and wondered if they will harm the tree.
Signature: Cathey in Cottonwood AZ

Mantis Ootheca

Hi Cathey,
this is the Ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis.  We cannot tell you what species this is without doing some research, but perhaps one of our readers knows which Arizona species has an Ootheca that looks like this.

How AWESOME!!!! Thank you!!!
Cathey

Letter 26 – Preying Mantis Ootheca

 

Gall or what?
Location: Marana, AZ
January 30, 2012 4:12 pm
Mr. Bugman,
I have about 3 or 4 of these things in my tree out back. At first I thought they were some sort of chrysalis, but after having one break off and upon further examination, I have no idea what this thing is. After hours of research, I’m thinking this may be a gall of some sort, but I still have not a clue as to what caused it. Even if it is a gall, it still resembles a nest of some sort. However, it’s only about 1/2” long. So many questions, and absolutely no answers!
P.S. I like the zipper design along the front, which is part of why I’m so confused as to the classification of this object. Those are holes leading straight inwards. I’m afraid to dissect it, though, without knowing what it is.
Signature: Myssiing in Marana

Preying Mantis Ootheca

Dear Myssiing,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis.  The female expels a soft, frothy substance at the time she lays eggs, and it hardens into the ootheca.  The Ootheca protects the eggs from the elements while the young develop.

Letter 27 – Preying Mantis Ootheca and Chinese Mantis adult

 

Honey Comb??
December 28, 2009
This structure appears on twigs of Juniperus virginiana and pines, but also on plastic tape of electric cattle fencing. It contains a honey like, but not sweet substance. What insect builds these structures which are 2.5-3.5 cm long.
chrishogger
Scottsville VA

Preying Mantis Ootheca
Preying Mantis Ootheca

Hi chrishogger,
This is the Ootheca or Egg Case of a Preying Mantis.  Several hundred young should emerge in the spring.  Some years we get numerous letters because Mantis Ootheca are often found on conifers, and they are brought into the home on Christmas Trees.  If unnoticed, the indoor warmth causes the young to emerge early in the house.

Daniel,
Thanks for the identification of the object.
Here are 2 pictures of the adult, which is quite common in our garden.  Which species?

Chinese Mantis
Chinese Mantis

We believe this is a Chinese Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis, which is pictured on BugGuide.  It is described as:  “Tan to pale green. Forewings tan with green along front margin. Compund eyes chocolate-brown at sunset, pale tan soon after sunrise and during the day.

Chinese Mantis
Chinese Mantis

Letter 28 – Preying Mantis Ootheca Hatches

 

Subject: Hundreds of Preying Mantis nymphs
Location: Naperville, IL
July 20, 2013 6:34 pm
Dear Daniel~
Hello there! I hope you’re well and enjoying summer. I spotted a mantis ootheca (ootheca?) on a lilac branch last fall, and before the bush leafed out this spring, I clipped the ootheca and placed it in a mesh-capped jar, where I’d been checking it daily. They hatched in early June while you were on vacation, so I am sending these photos again now. About 150 mantis nymphs emerged and scattered throughout my garden, where I spot them nearly daily. I do believe they’ve been keeping my plants aphid free all summer.
All the best to you!
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Mantis Ootheca Hatches
Mantis Ootheca Hatches

Hi Dori,
We are terribly sorry to have missed this submission in June, but playing catchup after even a short trip away from the office is an impossibility.  It is difficult to imagine how all those Mantids can issue from that tiny Ootheca.

Mantis Hatchlings
Mantis Hatchlings

We are happy to hear you have had a relatively Aphid free garden this year.

Mantis Hatchling
Mantis Hatchling

 

Letter 29 – Preying Mantis Oothecae

 

Subject: Crusty thing on fence
Location: Denver, Colorado
April 1, 2014 8:06 pm
We found thes crusty pupa thing on our fence. We live near Denver, Colorado. Does anyone know what it is.
Signature: Thank you for your help.

Preying Mantis Oothecae
Preying Mantis Oothecae

These are Oothecae or egg cases of Preying Mantids.  Each will release up to several hundred hatchling mantids when they are ready to emerge.

Thank you for the answer-it’s been stumping me for about 6months. I am so glad we found your web site. Keep up the awesome work.
Thanks from Denver.

Letter 30 – Preying Mantis Peeping Tom

 

Smiling Mantis
Daniel,
I found this Praying Mantis peepin in my bedroom window in Dayton, Ohio. He looks as if he is smiling. lol. I thought maybe you would like to add this photo to your archive of smiling Mantidae. I thought it was a good close-up. Thanks again for your wonderful site.
Terry in Dayton, Ohio

Hi Terry,
Your “Peeping Tom” Preying Mantis photo is pretty funny. We can’t help but wonder: “whatever were you doing to capture that mantid’s attention?”

Daniel,
Beleive it or not, I was looking at some photo’s on your website when something caught the corner of my eye and there he was on the window. He may have been looking at some of his relatives on my monitor. I immediately grabbed my camera. It was as if he was posing for me. Its unknown if he can read but he sure does like looking at pictures. I think the monitor captured his attention. (Or maybe he was looking at his reflection in the glass. More plausible). In any case it was great to see such a beautiful creature so close up. I didn’t know they could climb straight up on glass. Pretty cool. Thanks for your response.
Terry

Letter 31 – Preying Mantises hatch from Christmas Trees!!!

 

Christmas Tree
Last night we saw what we thought were nymph praying mantis all over our living room near the Christmas tree. We bought the live tree 3 weeks ago and have had it decorated in our living room since. We live in Harrisburg PA, and over the last 2 days the temperature has risen 10°. We decided to take the tree down today since we found at least a hundred more. We put them in a glass jar with holes in the lid. I’ve always been told they were good luck and beneficial. My question is now, what do I do with them? I don’t want to kill them and it is too cold to put them outside. My father has a horse on a farm and is willing to take them. I am sending a picture, too, although it isn’t too clear. Thanks, I’ll wait for your response.
Paula Werner

Hi Paula,
We have received about 10 similar letters, but yours is the only one with photos. Obviously, it is too cold to put them outside. You are correct that the indoor warmth caused them to hatch prematurely. If no other food source is provided, they will eat each other until only the most vigorous survive. A possible winter food source could be fruit flies, Drosophila, availabe in biological supply houses. They are used in biology classes and to teach genetics. Also, tropical fish breeders feed them to some fish. They are easy to raise.

Letter 32 – Our 25,000th Posting: Bug Love under the Porch Light

 

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.

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Praying Mantis

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42 Comments. Leave new

  • Sorry about the resolution. I took the picture quickly with my phone camera. My digital camera is out of commision with a broken screen. Thank you for posting this.

    Reply
    • When we blew it up really large to see if we could determine the sex of the Mantis, we were amazed at the artful image degradation. As photography instructors, we have been itching to teach a class in cellular telephone photography.

      Reply
  • That’s a mantis religiosa.

    Reply
  • That ia an adult females Tenodera sinensis. Chinese mantis.

    Reply
  • They are Mantis religiosa.

    Reply
  • Agudelo, A.
    March 6, 2013 3:49 pm

    Pogonogaster tristani Rehn, 1928

    Reply
  • i am interested to supply… stickinsects etc…

    Reply
  • These are mantis religiosa oothecas

    Reply
  • Possibly Taumantis sigiana

    Reply
  • Hello Bugman.

    I would like to submit more information on Pogonogaster tristani, since I looked it up thanks to help from Mantis experts.

    It turns out, it’s a rediscovery.

    In fact, there where no images available of this species, not even in the book by Rehn, which only had a text description.
    And there was one specimen captured by JF Tristan (thus the name) in May 1906 and deposited in the collection of Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia under the catalog number of types 5353 (REHN, 1918; OTTE, 1978).

    I have more pictures of this species, including one that won Best Photo of 2013-2014 on the Insect News Network.
    You can see more images of this beautiful species in my website http://www.micromacrophoto.com under the section of Mantis.

    Furthermore, a paper is being published on the rediscovery, where the original author, Julián A. Salazar-E, an entomologist from Colombia, graciously included me as first author because of the photos (and video! – find it on my website) I took of this rediscovered species.

    I will provide a link as soon as it’s published in his science magazine, which will be in a few days.

    Sincerely,

    Oscar Blanco.
    http://www.micromacrophoto.com

    Reply
  • My name is Dr. Martin Nyffeler and I am a Senior Lecturer in Zoology affiliated with the University of Basel, Switzerland. I am in the process of writing an extensive review paper on “Bird predation by praying mantises”. It is my intention to publish this paper in a top biology journal. Currently I try to get photos of bird predation by mantises.
    I have seen your two photos of a “Mantis eats Ruby Throated Hummingbird” posted on the whatsthatbug.com website.
    I would like to ask you if I could get permission from you to use these photos in my new paper. Of course I would give you full credit for being the photographer who took the pictures.
    I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you in advance for your support.
    Best Regards,
    Martin Nyffeler

    Reply
  • My name is Dr. Martin Nyffeler and I am a Senior Lecturer in Zoology affiliated with the University of Basel, Switzerland. I am in the process of writing an extensive review paper on “Bird predation by praying mantises”. It is my intention to publish this paper in a top biology journal. Currently I try to get photos of bird predation by mantises.
    I have seen your two photos of a “Mantis eats Ruby Throated Hummingbird” posted on the whatsthatbug.com website.
    I would like to ask you if I could get permission from you to use these photos in my new paper. Of course I would give you full credit for being the photographer who took the pictures.
    I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you in advance for your support.
    Best Regards,
    Martin Nyffeler

    Reply
    • Dear Dr. Nyffeler,
      We are no longer in contact with Randy Anderson of Biggsville, Illinois, but our submission form gives What’s That Bug? permission to publish images and content on our site and on WTB? authorized publications. Unless Randy Anderson writes back and requests that you not publish his images, What’s That Bug? will allow the images to be published in your scientific paper. Please credit Randy Anderson as the photographer and indicate that the images are courtesy of whatsthatbug.com. We can also search for the higher resolution images.
      P.S. If you provide an email address, we will forward the higher resolution files.

      Reply
  • Dear Bugman,
    In your reply you wrote: “…..Unless Randy Anderson writes back and requests that you not publish his images, What’s That Bug? will allow the images to be published in your scientific paper…..” Since you wrote that you are no longer in contact with Randy Anderson of Bigsville, Illinois, how then does Mr. Anderson know that I intend using his images? How can he write back if he is not informed since he cannot be contacted ?
    Does it mean, that if my paper is published and Randy Anderson discovers his images in my paper, he can require the paper to be withdrawn ?
    Martin

    Reply
    • Hi Martin,
      Our submission form states: “By submitting an identification request and/or photo(s), you give WhatsThatBug.com permission to use your words and image(s) on their website and other WhatsThatBug.com publications. ” Though Randy Anderson is the true copyright holder of the image, it is now content on our copyrighted site. We are granting you permission to use this image in your paper. Though we are quite certain it will be a great paper, we doubt it will have the pop culture appeal and generate the type of revenue that the Harry Potter series generated, and as long as Randy Anderson is credited as the photographer and What’s That Bug? is credited as the source, you will not have to withdraw your paper. We frequently receive requests to publish images from our site, and in the case of scientific research, we always grant permission.

      Reply
  • Dear Bugman,
    In your reply you wrote: “…..Unless Randy Anderson writes back and requests that you not publish his images, What’s That Bug? will allow the images to be published in your scientific paper…..” Since you wrote that you are no longer in contact with Randy Anderson of Bigsville, Illinois, how then does Mr. Anderson know that I intend using his images? How can he write back if he is not informed since he cannot be contacted ?
    Does it mean, that if my paper is published and Randy Anderson discovers his images in my paper, he can require the paper to be withdrawn ?
    Martin

    Reply
    • Hi Martin,
      Our submission form states: “By submitting an identification request and/or photo(s), you give WhatsThatBug.com permission to use your words and image(s) on their website and other WhatsThatBug.com publications. ” Though Randy Anderson is the true copyright holder of the image, it is now content on our copyrighted site. We are granting you permission to use this image in your paper. Though we are quite certain it will be a great paper, we doubt it will have the pop culture appeal and generate the type of revenue that the Harry Potter series generated, and as long as Randy Anderson is credited as the photographer and What’s That Bug? is credited as the source, you will not have to withdraw your paper. We frequently receive requests to publish images from our site, and in the case of scientific research, we always grant permission.

      Reply
  • Dear Bugman,
    Thank you so much for your reply. Now things have become clear to me. I would greatly appreciate if you would send me a higher resolution version of the two photos (if this is possible). My Email is: martin.nyffeler@unibas.ch Thanks!
    Kind Regards,
    Martin

    Reply
  • Dear Bugman,
    Thank you so much for your reply. Now things have become clear to me. I would greatly appreciate if you would send me a higher resolution version of the two photos (if this is possible). My Email is: martin.nyffeler@unibas.ch Thanks!
    Kind Regards,
    Martin

    Reply
  • Hi,
    I just find this page by pure chance, and I’m glad to read/see pictures and name of this Mantis. I found on of this Mantis in the cloudy forest next to Monteverde (Santa Helena ?) in Costa Rica in 2009, the one picture posted on the French forum.
    I tried to identify for a long time without success, and finally here it is.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.
    Alex

    Reply
  • I just found a cocoon that looks identical to that one in sw Virginia. It was attatched to my garage. It is now October and whatever built it it alive and very active when handled.

    Reply
  • Subject: Photos of praying mantis devouring a hummingbird
    To: Daniel Marlos

    Dear Daniel,

    some time ago, I contacted you with regard to a scientific manuscript I was in the process of preparing. You then granted me permission to use Randy Anderson’s photos (depicting a praying mantis devouring a hummingbird) in my forthcoming scientific paper. Of course “What’s that bug” and Randy Anderson are credited for it. This manuscript (which has been written in collaboration with two professors from US universities) will be published in the June issue of the scientific magazine “Wilson Journal of Ornithology”. In the attachment you find the first page of the paper (see attached document). In this paper one of Randy Anderson’s photos will be included. As soon as the paper will be available online, you will receive a copy of the paper in its full length (PDF). The Media Department of the University of Basel intends to issue a press release on this publication. For the purpose of this press release the University of Basel would like to post several photos of “bird-eating praying mantises” on the University’s internet website. Is it okay with you if the University of Basel is using Randy Anderson’s photo(s)? Randy Anderson and “What’s that bug” will of course be given full credit for this. I would greatly appreciate if you would give me a feedback very soon!
    Thank you very much for your time and support!
    Kind regards,
    Martin

    PD Dr. Martin Nyffeler
    Senior Lecturer in Zoology
    University of Basel
    Section of Conservation Biology
    St. Johanns-Vorstadt 10
    CH-4056 Basel
    Switzerland

    Reply
    • Thanks Martin,
      We look forward to receiving the pdf in the future and we hope we will be able to post a link to it on our site.

      Reply
  • Subject: Photos of praying mantis devouring a hummingbird
    To: Daniel Marlos

    Dear Daniel,

    some time ago, I contacted you with regard to a scientific manuscript I was in the process of preparing. You then granted me permission to use Randy Anderson’s photos (depicting a praying mantis devouring a hummingbird) in my forthcoming scientific paper. Of course “What’s that bug” and Randy Anderson are credited for it. This manuscript (which has been written in collaboration with two professors from US universities) will be published in the June issue of the scientific magazine “Wilson Journal of Ornithology”. In the attachment you find the first page of the paper (see attached document). In this paper one of Randy Anderson’s photos will be included. As soon as the paper will be available online, you will receive a copy of the paper in its full length (PDF). The Media Department of the University of Basel intends to issue a press release on this publication. For the purpose of this press release the University of Basel would like to post several photos of “bird-eating praying mantises” on the University’s internet website. Is it okay with you if the University of Basel is using Randy Anderson’s photo(s)? Randy Anderson and “What’s that bug” will of course be given full credit for this. I would greatly appreciate if you would give me a feedback very soon!
    Thank you very much for your time and support!
    Kind regards,
    Martin

    PD Dr. Martin Nyffeler
    Senior Lecturer in Zoology
    University of Basel
    Section of Conservation Biology
    St. Johanns-Vorstadt 10
    CH-4056 Basel
    Switzerland

    Reply
  • Hello! I’m a reporter with the website Live Science, and I’m writing an article about Dr. Nyffeler’s study. Could we please use Mr. Anderson’s photos to accompany the article, with attribution to WhatsThatBug.com and the photographer?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Mindy Weisberger
    Senior Writer, Live Science

    Reply
  • Hello! I’m a reporter with the website Live Science, and I’m writing an article about Dr. Nyffeler’s study. Could we please use Mr. Anderson’s photos to accompany the article, with attribution to WhatsThatBug.com and the photographer?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Mindy Weisberger
    Senior Writer, Live Science

    Reply
  • Dear bugman,

    I would also like to use this picture to report about Dr. Nyffeler’s study on the homepage of our bioscientific magazine http://www.biospektrum.de. Is this possible? We would of course credit Mr. Anderson and WhatsThatBug.com.

    Thank you very much and best regards,
    Anna-Maria Huber, BIOspektrum

    Reply
  • Dear bugman,

    I would also like to use this picture to report about Dr. Nyffeler’s study on the homepage of our bioscientific magazine http://www.biospektrum.de. Is this possible? We would of course credit Mr. Anderson and WhatsThatBug.com.

    Thank you very much and best regards,
    Anna-Maria Huber, BIOspektrum

    Reply
  • Hi,

    My name is Rodrigo Rivas, currently I work in Naturalia, A.C.

    Naturalia, A.C. is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 (in México), whose mission is to develop projects promoting the conservation of species and ecosystems in Mexico, through environmental education and field activities.

    One of Naturalia’s Environmental Education projects is Especies, Magazine on Conservation and Biodiversity. This publication seeks to allow people to know wildlife in our country and the importance of its conservation; it has been in distribution, nation-wide every three months, for the last fifteen years.

    In the next edition we are preparing a article about hummingbirds. In order to properly illustrate the section, we are considering your excellent photos if possible. The credit for the pictures will be published exactly as you request: Full Name, Alias, Last Name, etc…

    We will send a link to download the article with the published photograph.

    My mail is: diseno@naturalia.org.mx

    To download our last edition
    http://www.revistaespecies.ga

    Thank you in advance for your support.
    Best Regards,

    Reply
  • Hi,

    My name is Rodrigo Rivas, currently I work in Naturalia, A.C.

    Naturalia, A.C. is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 (in México), whose mission is to develop projects promoting the conservation of species and ecosystems in Mexico, through environmental education and field activities.

    One of Naturalia’s Environmental Education projects is Especies, Magazine on Conservation and Biodiversity. This publication seeks to allow people to know wildlife in our country and the importance of its conservation; it has been in distribution, nation-wide every three months, for the last fifteen years.

    In the next edition we are preparing a article about hummingbirds. In order to properly illustrate the section, we are considering your excellent photos if possible. The credit for the pictures will be published exactly as you request: Full Name, Alias, Last Name, etc…

    We will send a link to download the article with the published photograph.

    My mail is: diseno@naturalia.org.mx

    To download our last edition
    http://www.revistaespecies.ga

    Thank you in advance for your support.
    Best Regards,

    Reply
    • Dear Rodrigo,
      Though WTB? does not own the copyright on the image, our submission form does allow us to grant permission to use images from our site to educational publications and non-profit organizations. We will forward the higher resolution images to you.
      Please credit: Randy Anderson, Biggsville, Illinois.
      Image courtesy of http://www.whatsthatbug.com

      Reply
  • we just found a cocoon on our wire plant support it hatched out yesterday and has the most beautiful wing coloration on it, we were hoping it was the hummingbird moth, but we think it is something different, it has brown as the overall color, with large droplets of beige on the wings. It is beautiful!!!

    Reply
  • Elisabeth S Brackney
    October 30, 2019 8:39 pm

    What you call “preying mantis” is actually praying mantis.

    Reply
    • We understand the homonym you cite is more popular, but we maintain we have seen mantids “prey” but we have never seen a mantis “praying” so we prefer to use the word that most accurately describes the act. You may read more about our position by reading this posting from our archives.

      Reply

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