I pray for a mantis, for a walking stick near,
soon attacking my garden will be lygus I fear.
I hope he won’t dally, will come fairly quick,
praying for patience, bugs think he’s a stick.
Justin snapped some pretty cool pics capturing hundreds of manti emerging from their egg case. Actually, we have spotted nearly a dozen of these cases throughout the garden.
Masters at the art of camouflage, praying manti are one of the most fascinating of the beneficial predatory bugs here on the homestead. Not only do they eat “bad bugs” but also often eat each other. The manti have an extremely ravenous appetite; it’s quite common for the female to eat her mate and the emerging young’s first meal will be that of each other.
After they cannibalize each other, they will feast on aphids, caterpillars, flies, mosquitoes, spiders, grasshoppers, moths, crickets and beetles.
Pretty soon these nymphs will be 10 times the size, blend into their surroundings and take up their deceiving “praying” stance preying on any bad bugs that come their way.
What do you find most fascinating about these beneficial insects?
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