Last summer 2012; when I run my eyes over my garden, I have noticed a small and green insect over my pomegranate tree which is only a praying mantis. Where I have to do some research through the net, because I was curious to know some things about this insect, and I have taken some photos and videos about this insect and its egg case (ootheca) that you can see here:
I have also noticed a reduction of pest insects … very impressive!
I am so impressed I want everyone to know more about this insect.
And my research has led me to this summary: this formidable insect is one of the best predators of the bunch of other pest enemies; it is also called natural’s perfect predator.
Organic gardeners who avoid pesticides may encourage mantises as a form of biological pest control. Tens of thousands of mantis egg cases and With orWithout Twigs Attached adult mantises are sold each year in some online garden stores for this purpose.
Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. The etymology word of the common name ‘mantis’ comes from the Greek (pronounced mantis) meaning prophet.
Mantises are exclusively predatory; it is hard to make mantises eat meat that they have not caught themselves.
|There is a long-standing American urban legend that killing a praying mantis is illegal and subject to a fine. The origin of this myth is unknown because of how beneficial they are to gardens in which they live.|
During fall, praying mantis females deposit an egg case (ootheca) on the underside of a leaf or on a small branch. If the egg case survives winter, the offspring, called nymphs, emerge in late spring or early summer; in the case you want to release mantises in early spring, you have to order them from this special store.
If a female is mated, she can produce several egg cases (ootheca), and may well eat the male (and be aware that unmated females will probably still lay eggs, they just won’t hatch).
The nymphs have voracious appetites and typically cannibalize each other if they cannot find adequate small insects. Egg cases and adult mantises are commercially available for placement in landscaping.
The majority of mantises are ambush (surprise attack) predators. They camouflage themselves and stand perfectly still. Then they just wait for their prey to stray too near, but most mantises will chase their prey if they can. When a prey does get close enough, the mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed.
There are three species of interesting mantises, the European mantis (Mantis religiosa), Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis Carolina), and Chinese Mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis).
What have attracted my deep attention; it is this wonderful Chinese mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis).
This Chinese mantis looks like long and slender praying mantis that is brown and green. It is typically larger than most other praying mantises; adult females are about 8 centimeters in length. The female can produce several spherical ootheca roughly the size of a table tennis ball, containing up to 400 eggs. Chinese Mantises have been found to gain benefits in survivorship, growth, and fecundity (the ability to produce offspring, especially in large number).
The Chinese Mantis is an aggressive carnivore that will tackle and eat large insects.
The Chinese Mantis’ diet consists primarily of cockroaches, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, spiders, and other pest insects. . When young, Chinese Mantis will eat Drosophila, various aphids, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, caterpillars, micro crickets, gnats, mini bugs, other soft-bodied insects and fruit flies.
As they grow larger, Mantis will feed on House Flies, Blue Bottle Flies and small roaches. In a word, Praying mantises will consume anything they can catch and hold. They are also known to eat bees and wasps in the wild. Mantis drinks dew from leaves.
But also larger species of mantises have been known to prey on: small scorpions, lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, and even rodents; as you can watch on these videos:
http://youtu.be/8ZGP-qDwQf4…( A mantis caught a hornet)
- http://youtu.be/C3422ADzyMg…(a mantis slays a wasp)
- (mantis vs rodent) http://youtu.be/4enilF4pEko
They will prey upon any species small enough to be successfully captured and devoured. The time that the praying mantis’ diet expands the most is during the time when the female is making her eggs. Then it will become large and aggressive enough to eat these larger creatures.
Although formidable, the Chinese Mantis is sometimes preyed upon by birds, the Asian Giant Hornet, Scopes owls, shrikes, bullfrogs, chameleons, and Milk Snakes. Mantises are without chemical protection.
Biology: Each praying mantis egg case will hatch about 200 up to 400 mantises to help control pest insects in your garden or greenhouse. Optimal conditions for hatching are 40-95% humidity and a temperature of 70-90° F. Praying Mantises may take 4-6 weeks to hatch.A praying mantis has a short lifespan, of around six months from nymph to adulthood, and another six months as an adult. Mantises will thrive in temperatures ranging from 68 to 100°F. Sudden temperature changes can result in death for the mantises.
Release rate: Use 3 cases/5,000 sq. ft. or 10-100 cases/acre. (1 acre = about 40 Ares)
Begin releases during early spring. Praying Mantises can be used in conjunction with other beneficial insects, however, beware: Praying Mantis will eat other beneficial insects if pests are not available. They will not eat ladybugs because they are bigger than most other beneficial insects.
Pesticide Use: To encourage mantis populations, limit broad-spectrum pesticide use and allow some vegetation to grow to provide cover for the mantises. Selective insecticides, such as those containing Bacillus thuringiensis (for caterpillar control) and insecticidal soap (to control soft-bodied insect pests) have little impact on mantises as compared to broad-spectrum insecticides.
To keep our garden in good safety without any chemicals, praying mantis is an excellent means for this purpose.
this year(march 2013)
,i have noticed some praying mantis’ ootheca in my garden
- Ze Frank: True Facts About The Mantis (milkandcookies.com)