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Praying Mantis (or Mantid) in my Aussie garden

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Marie-laurence blog photos
Joined: 1/15/2012
Location: Bellevue Hill, NSW
Posts: 966
Posted: Feb/12/2012 5:05 PM PST

I already tried yesterday to post this new Topic in this Insects section, GG kept the title AND the photos but told me they couldn't understand WHERE I wanted them posted and this, about 5 times in a row - what more can I do ? !
I almost killed the poor insect, thinking it was some kind of leaf hopper, ready to chew my beautiful orchid but my son stopped me right in time, telling me what it was and that it was only eating other insects. I'm glad he did !

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witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Moderator
Posted: Feb/13/2012 1:50 AM PST

Great shots! I'm glad that you didn't swat him. I love to see them in my gardens.
frogmanjared blog photos
Joined: 11/11/2008
Location: Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Posts: 141
Posted: Feb/13/2012 9:08 AM PST

I had a pet mantis once, it was a pain to catch fruit flies when it just hatched, but it was well worth it!
Marie-laurence blog photos
Joined: 1/15/2012
Location: Bellevue Hill, NSW
Posts: 966
Posted: Feb/13/2012 5:56 PM PST

@ Witt : thanks ! I much prefer using my camera to "shoot" at insects than swatting them, of course !
@ Frogmanjared : This is why knowledge is so important and sites like GG so convenient when you try to find out what to do : how on earth do you catch fruit flies when they hatch ?. On our country property, fruit flies were attacking most of our fruit and there was nothing much we could eat, because they were full of worms but I never saw the fruit flies themselves, let alone their eggs or when they were hatching !!. And how do you keep a Mantis as a pet ?, don't they fly away ?. Sorry for being so ignorant !
frogmanjared blog photos
Joined: 11/11/2008
Location: Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Posts: 141
Posted: Feb/14/2012 7:42 AM PST

Quote:
Originally posted by Marie-laurence
@ Witt : thanks ! I much prefer using my camera to "shoot" at insects than swatting them, of course !
@ Frogmanjared : This is why knowledge is so important and sites like GG so convenient when you try to find out what to do : how on earth do you catch fruit flies when they hatch ?. On our country property, fruit flies were attacking most of our fruit and there was nothing much we could eat, because they were full of worms but I never saw the fruit flies themselves, let alone their eggs or when they were hatching !!. And how do you keep a Mantis as a pet ?, don't they fly away ?. Sorry for being so ignorant !


Catching fruit flies... easy! You take a straw, cover one end with nylons, and suck them up (the nylons stop them from going into your mouth!) It's actually very fun, and the mantis grew so fast it wasn't long before it could eat regular flies or small crickets, which are easy to catch with your hands. I'm sure there are better ways to get food, but hey, its free! It took a worm from me once, that was pretty gruesome to watch! I kept it in a critter keeper/terrarium until it was fairly large, then released it into the garden. It stayed for the summer, I saw her a few times after I released it.
Marie-laurence blog photos
Joined: 1/15/2012
Location: Bellevue Hill, NSW
Posts: 966
Posted: Mar/12/2013 4:35 AM PST

To Frogmanjared : I read somewhere that Praying Mantis were a danger to Hummingbirds, is that true ?. I know Hummingbirds are small but Mantis are much smaller; how could they harm a little bird, flying away so quickly ?. Please explain ? - Cheers ! - ML
nelsoncastro
Joined: 11/06/2012
Location: Vic
Posts: 62
Posted: Mar/19/2013 12:12 AM PST

It is surely quick enough to catch a mosquito or fly and the only known insect predator to feed on night-dwelling moths, the praying mantis can help bring your harmful insect population under control. Even a newborn nymph is born hungry and immediately begins eating the smallest of the invaders. Using their ultrasound ears, their strong eyesight and their powerful front legs, which are designed for grasping, they make quick work of unwanted garden pests.
Marie-laurence blog photos
Joined: 1/15/2012
Location: Bellevue Hill, NSW
Posts: 966
Posted: Mar/20/2013 6:01 PM PST

Since I learnt they were such useful insects, I protect them and keep an eye out for them when I am in my garden : another reason why GG and their very knowledgeable members are so great !. I ask questions about everything I don't know (and it's a lot !) and I get clever and detailed answers to my many queries... and since I am a VERY curious person, I guess you'll hear from me a few more times in the future ! - Just let me know if I become "a pain in the neck" with my curiosity ! - Cheers ! - ML
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