As you know if you followed a previous blog Gardening Discoveries I already mentioned the praying mantis and showed you the photographs too. Well here are more but this time it is the baby praying mantis which was in our garden. Phill and I were so excited to see them on one of our climbers the other day. Phill saw about 5 of them wandering over the plant but unfortunately I have only ever seen 2 and been able to take photographs and a couple of videos of them. They are so cute I wanted to adopt them into our family but perhaps not such a great idea after all they below in the wild.
You can get an indication of size too if you compare it on the finger – can you believe it. Their size ranges from 1/2 inch to 6 inches!!
I also managed to video one of them but these youngsters moving so fast and I couldn’t keep up with them on the video, they are so amazing.
If you’re unfamiliar with praying mantis, you should know that they are wonderful bugs to have around in the garden. The little ones will gorge themselves on aphids, flea beetles and other tiny pests, while larger mantises eat cabbage moths, beetles and, occasionally they have been spotted snacking on large spiders, frogs, lizards and even snakes. Mantises have also been known to eat one another. Hungry praying mantises don’t discriminate.
However, as with all insects and animals there is a sinister side to them as they are formidable hunters, and silently blend into their surroundings before snagging prey on their powerful front legs.
A first-of-its kind study has found that praying mantises across the globe regularly kill and eat small birds as well, and studies have found that they could threaten US hummingbird populations.
They normally live for about a year. In cooler climates, the adults lay eggs in autumn, then die. The eggs are protected by their hard capsules and hatch in the spring. Females sometimes practice sexual cannibalism, eating their mates after copulation.
Mantises were considered to have supernatural powers by early civilisations, including Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Mantises are also among the insects most commonly kept as pets. Forget getting a dog get a mantis !!
Can’t believe it managed to see another 2 little baby mantises today 7th July – look at the size of them they are quite incredible!!