Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Of Mediterranean Mantises and Mesquites

After a post about Mexican Bean Beetles I would like to focus attention on a more friendly insect. The Mediterranean mantis.

Based on how much the Mediterranean mantid blends in with the native mesquite trees it is no wonder that they have come to dominate much of the local insect population.
Often, people encounter this insect is when a male is attracted to a porch light and, while there, decides to dine on other insects that are attracted to the light.

Though mantises are all over Arizona, it can be difficult to spot them.


  1. I found an egg sack on a butterfly bush last fall. This spring I kept finding a single tiny insect near the water barrels. Eventually I found him further afield and growing well. Now it is about 3.5-4" long, is no longer pure green but sporting a nice tan sport coat. I call him Louie....

    1. Dear Kris,

      Thank you for the reply. I love mantises too. They are plenty of fun - especially because they can turn their heads in much the way we do. Often, our ability to personify things in the environment makes us more connected to them. Where are you from again? You may dealing with a European mantis.

    2. I'm in NorthEast Ohio. I grew up next to a field and there were mantises aplenty back then (and pheasants, turtles, garter snakes, neuts, salamanders, etc.) Now all we get are white-tailed deer and Canada geese. I think everyone should eat more venison and goose! :-D

  2. A very cool insect. I have not seen them in my garden but would welcome them.


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