Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum→The Praying Mantis Fan Club Thread

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Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Sep 13, 2020 10:59 PM CST
At last! A thread dedicated to all you Praying Mantis fans. Truly the most photogenic guest in the garden. What other insect poses perfectly still and looks straight at the camera with such winsome googly eyes?! Post your photos here and share your fun facts! Green Grin!

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For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
Sep 14, 2020 5:27 AM CST
Ok, I'm in!

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These are from this year, I will post last years pic soon. I have to go get ready to help with the livestock portion of our fair.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
American Beauty Butterfly
Heirlooms Organic Gardener Hummingbirder Herbs Seed Starter Winter Sowing
Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Keeper of Poultry Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover
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wildflowers
Sep 14, 2020 9:57 AM CST
Thank you, Zoë! Great thread title! Thumbs up

I dug up some of the more interesting (to me) mantis photos that came to mind.

This is from last September and continues to be a curious scene to me. It was as if she was welcoming the flies... She has a stink bug in her clutches. I probably didn't stay long enough to see if she ate them. Blinking

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Looking innocent
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I'm sure I'll find more... Big Grin

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Sep 14, 2020 3:18 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2348289 (3)
Name: William Groth
Houston, TX zone 9a
Peppers Cactus and Succulents Roses Adeniums Cat Lover Sedums
Sempervivums Garden Photography
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Willinator
Sep 14, 2020 10:36 AM CST
Well I am a fan of the praying mantis but I just have not seen a lot of them since we left Oklahoma almost 40 years ago. Yes, I am that old!!
Maybe here in very hot and humid Houston, TX there are just not so many mantids running around. We have always had lots of anoles, spiders,
and geckos in my gardens. As well as bees and wasps but not mantids??
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Sep 14, 2020 11:12 AM CST
This is a wonderful idea for a thread!

I have none in my yard that I have seen in the 3 summers that I have been here. But that does not prevent me from enjoying all of the images that will be posted here.
Early Spring of 2021, I will purchase some egg cases and start a local population. My plants are maturing to the point where I had some Japanese beetles this summer and loads more chewers and munchers this Spring and Summer. So hopefully they will be able to find a steady food source.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
Sep 14, 2020 12:49 PM CST
Bill, if I could I would mail you some of my egg cases, but I need all of mine! I can't imagine what my yard would look like if I didn't have mantises. As it is I lose a lot of the hatchlings to birds, other bugs, whatever, and then when they get larger, they eat each other. I have three out there right now that I see nearly every day, two large females and a male. That's out of about 100 hatchlings! These pics are from last year.
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Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Sep 14, 2020 1:15 PM CST
Appreciate the thought Lynda. Lovey dubby
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
Image
gardenfish
Sep 14, 2020 3:11 PM CST
BTW, everyone, I didn't stay around to see if that big female in the most recent post of mine ate her mate. Crying
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Sep 14, 2020 6:45 PM CST
What a great start to the PM thread!
@Gardenfish I love those grey mottled males of whatever you determine they are, especially that first pic at the top with the water droplets. I've never seen that variety out here. (No, I don't think they breed interspecies, btw).
@Wildflowers Weird about the flies. Nature works in mysterious ways. Thinking The last is sweet. Sitting on a...mushroom?
@BigBill I had to look up the Narrow-winged mantis (from the other thread on Sunday). I wonder if you saw these sites. They have excellent photos:
https://www.marylandbiodiversi...
https://www.marylandbiodiversi...
Good to know about the yellow vs orange spots, but another thing to see them without spreading their forelegs. Hm.

Thanks for Acorn s @Evelyninthegarden and @DirtDorphins. Looking forward to your photos.

PM Factoid of the Day
The Chinese mantis have striped faces AND 3 small ocelli— simple eyes—on their foreheads between the two large compound eyes. I love how every new feature I learn about is weirder than the one before.
https://objects.liquidweb.serv...
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Sep 14, 2020 7:19 PM CST
The orange and yellow spots are at the base of the legs, kind of on a breast plate.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Will Currie
Hoke co NC (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
UncleWill
Sep 14, 2020 7:53 PM CST
My local population took a nose dive over the winter. They went from fairly common to my first sighting this year only occurred this weekend. There were plenty of cases last fall.
A snap Frost got my spring fruit buds, and I wonder if maybe they hatched to soon and the sudden cold got them also? Shrug! Shrug!
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Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Sep 14, 2020 7:55 PM CST
BB, Yup, saw that. Kinda hard to peek under there though! Hilarious! Good pics of that in the links I gave you.

https://objects.liquidweb.serv...

The European has a black and white mark on its inside biceps (yeah, I know Whistling ) which is a little easier to see without picking it up.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Sep 14, 2020 7:58 PM CST
Will, I love those! Hilarious! I think the grey mottled ones are male Carolinas, like Lynda's. The females are more like the one decorating your hat, but I'm not 100% certain.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Sep 14, 2020 11:11 PM CST
nmoasis said:What a great start to the PM thread!
Thanks for Acorn s @Evelyninthegarden


Zoë ~ You are welcome.

nmoasis said:PM Factoid of the Day
The Chinese mantis have striped faces AND 3 small ocelli— simple eyes—on their foreheads between the two large compound eyes. I love how every new feature I learn about is weirder than the one before.


"The better to see you with, my dear!" nodding

"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Jackie
NJ (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover
tinypiney
Sep 19, 2020 6:48 AM CST
I've had one or two in my garden all summer. The last photo is when one of them spent all day trying to climb the side of my house for some reason..

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Idaho
Plantlvr2
Sep 19, 2020 8:49 AM CST
I love praying mantis. I live in a new state and have not had any in my yard yet. what I do see a lot of is dragonflies. I am installing a small pond to hopefully get them to call my yard home. Does anyone else have dragonflies?
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Sep 19, 2020 9:00 AM CST
Dragonflies are here in SE Michigan but there is not a huge variety. I am about 3/8 of a mile from the nearest body of water. Here I have perhaps 4-5 species on a regular basis.
But then again things like the big Green Darner or the damsel flies and things like open fields, meadows and such. The small water sources that dot the golf course that I regularly play on has a lot more in the way of variety.
That Green Darner has to be my favorite. They zoom around catching insects on the wing and anything that loves to eat mosquitos is okay in my book!!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Sep 19, 2020 9:48 AM CST
@TinyPiney, welcome to the Mantis Fan Club! Beautiful photos and cool stripey face on that gal. She might be looking for a place to lay her ootheca—egg casing. Check under the eaves or around the edges of the window. You might have babies in the spring. Lucky you. Lovey dubby
BTW, did she catch that fly?

I found this a few days ago and honestly don't know if it's new or last year's. Can anyone tell?
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For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Sep 19, 2020 2:46 PM CST
I've been watching a few this year. A pink one lived on my milkweed a green one in my pepper plants, and a few others were occasionally spotted. I think they're all Carolina. But my husband said he saw a big one about 3 inches long on our gate so it must be a different kind.
Turns out my pepper living mantis found a mate. Hopefully that means I'll have several next year too. Between my garden toads and the few mantis, I haven't had to spray for bugs this year.
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Name: Bonnie Harris
Coeur d' Alene, Idaho (Zone 6a)
Knowledge is love, light is vision.
Dog Lover Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader
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TiaLee
Sep 19, 2020 3:12 PM CST
I am a big preying mantis fan. Cute, but fierce.


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Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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