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Would you like to see my praying mantis pictures? They are stealthy ambush predators and are known to catch small birds, frogs, lizards, mice & even bats. Their main diet is bugs and they are great helpers in the garden eating all those horrible bugs like aphids, tomato horn worms, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, etc. They are people friendly and a big assist in getting rid of garden pests. Nothing to fear with a praying mantis. I pick them up often and let them crawl up my arm and put them on a bush or plant that has a bug problem. They only want bugs. They'll do the job. Don't use pesticides.

The female might devour her mate after breeding or during breeding if she's hungry enough and needs a quick meal, but that's OK. Mating requires lots of stamina and energy. It's the last thing they do before they die and she needs the extra protein for her egg sack which can hold about 100 eggs. That's the next generation which will hatch next Spring. After she sets her eggs in a safe place, usually on a tree branch, she will die too from shear exhaustion. They all will die at first frost. The whole life cycle is just a few months.

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They are amazing insects aren't they? I wish we got them here in the UK. I know you can buy them as exotic pets but that is not for me.

24 Aug, 2020


Thanks Eileen. I agree they are fascinating and I love seeing them in my gardening. They'll turn their head to make eye contact with you. Sometimes they'll reach out and ask to be held. I'll just pick her up and put her in a buggy place. I would never think of keeping one as a pet. They are hunters by design and only eat live food. They want to be free. The ones in my garden are my pets, but they do what they want. I think there is a species living the UK. They aren't common to see by any means and they know how to hide in plain sight. They are skilled hunters.

Show this to Victoria. I'm sure she'd love to see it.

24 Aug, 2020


So far they have not been found living in the wild here. there have been a few escapees apparently. Though there are 2 colonies in Germany that are thriving and breeding.

Toria is visiting her boyfriend at the moment and when she gets home she will enjoy looking at yours. Is this the European one that you have 'Mantis religiosa'?

24 Aug, 2020


Fabulous!!! Thanks for posting the pics as well as the very interesting and educational aspect.

24 Aug, 2020


Great photos & interesting info.

24 Aug, 2020


Eileen, this is the Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis). It's one of the largest. They look intimidating because of their size but they eat more bugs. I don't mind picking them up. They don't bite or sting nor will they damage plants or crops. They just want bugs. The wasps and mosquitoes bother me more than these.

Thanks Kate and Ff - I've always been fascinated by the worlds within worlds outside my back door. This is just a glimpse.

25 Aug, 2020


Intriguing creatures. Like Eileen I wish we had them here. Great photos.

25 Aug, 2020


Thanks Sue

25 Aug, 2020


What fabulous insects to see in your own garden. They have always fascinated me and I didn't realise that they are so friendly. Even making eye contact! So useful too. Thankyou Bathgate for sharing these pics and info. You are blessed indeed.

26 Aug, 2020

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