Bug Index


 Assassin Bug

Bigeyed Bug

Boreal Firefly




Giant Diving Beetle

Giant Stoneflies

Giant Water Bug

Ground Beetles

Honey Bee


Ladybird Beetle



Pirate Bugs

Praying Mantid

Predatory Mites

Rove Beetles


Syphid Fly

Tachnid Fly

Yellow Jacket

Praying Mantid 

Praying Mantids  make fun garden pets. Mantids eat anything and everything they can catch! They constantly entertain observers while they eat insects all summer long. 

Mantids eat most pest insects. Mites and their eggs are the preferred diet of these general predators. They also devour aphids, thrips, flies, maggots, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, grubs and other soft-bodied insects. Mature mantids feed on larger caterpillars, earwigs, chinch bugs, sow bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, and other larger insects. Mantids stay in your garden and wait for an insect to walk by. They then grab it with their strong grasping forelegs and begin munching away.

They make fascinating pets and are fun to watch. Praying Mantids are to shipped gardeners as egg cases, each of which contains about 200 baby mantids. 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Chinese mantid is one of the largest mantids. A big female can grow to a length of up to 10.5 centimeters (over 4 inches!).  The front legs are modified for capturing prey with lightning speed. Rows of sharp spines on the inside of the legs prevent the prey from escaping. Mantids often hold their front legs in a praying position, thus the name - praying mantid. Males praying mantids can fly but females can not.  

Mantids range in color from bright green to brownish-gray. They are the only insects that can look over their shoulder. Mantids are well equipped for camouflage. Many have a leafy, twiggy appearance. They range in size from 3/4 " to 5 inches long.

FEEDING: Mantids are predators and feed largely on other insects and invertebrates. They will eat just about anything, which means they are just as likely to eat a leafhopper as a honeybee. The smaller the mantid, the smaller the prey it eats. Most mantids need to eat at least one cricket or large bug per day. The exact number and size of the bugs a mantid needs to eat will depend upon the size of the mantid and how hungry it is. Young mantids eat small fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and other very small insects such as aphids.