Praying Mantis

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  • #13111


    Gosh! Has anyone else noticed how many of them are around right now, the females with big swollen bellies, ready to lay their eggs. Everytime I go into the garden at the mo I see several. My last few cats are safe inside, but I do a grrr when I see them! Can’t bring myself to kill them, but I will def do a patrol of the fences & bricks on my house & remove any cases I see. Are they easy to remove? I haven’t done it before. But would like to lower the Mantis population in my garden. They don’t seem to have a lot of predators. I am in a new subdivision, not a lot of bird life yet. Spiders & mantids seem to have the upper hand right now!


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    I’m with you Wendy, I kill every St African mantis I see and destroy any egg cases I find. It is many years since I saw a native Mantis, yes I always check before I kill. The monarch chrysalises are particularly vulnerable immediately after shedding their skins, before the chrysalis case has hardened. The African mantis is in large part responsible for the disappearance of the native one so they are a huge threat to native wildlife every bit as much as rats, mustelids, possums which we must endeavour to get rid of by killing them. Funnily enough this year, where I am in West Auckland I have not seen the usual number of mantises.


    Mantis Queen

    That is just… horrible! I mean, I have animals that I personally dislike, but you would never see me walking around thumping newly born dog puppies over their heads with a baseball bat! You have to remember that these are living creatures- if you’re going to kill them, at least do it humanely by removing the casing and freezing it. Are you even aware that there is a native species of mantis that is slowly on the decline? Most of it is from natural issues like bad weather, predators, accidents, and disease, but these days a portion of the problem is people squishing them because they “don’t like bugs” or “think mantises are ugly”. Imagine killing an animal because you didn’t like how it looked…


    Mantis Queen

    Are you aware that there are two species of mantises in New Zealand? There are the cannibalistic, fat, and hammer-headed South African/Springbok mantises, and then there are the native New Zealand mantises. Before you consider ridding yourself of the egg casings (oothecae/ootheca), take a moment to study it and see which species it belongs to. The African mantises have blobby, ugly, shapeless casings, while the NZ mantises lay casings that are in straight, uniform shapes- usually with a thinner layer of coating than the African ones. Though nobody cares to acknowledge it, New Zealand mantises are rapidly on the decline, and if nobody does anything about it I believe that they may be endangered within the next half a century. The South African mantises are aggressive, violent, and sort of creepy, and need to be kept under control. If you wish to stop the casings hatching, don’t crush or spray them. Simply remove them and put them in the freezer. This will humanely kill the nymphs inside, and there is no way of them hatching in the freezer because it takes warmth and sunlight to bring the babies out.
    Many people dislike praying mantises very much, which is fine until people go so far with trying to keep them out of their garden that they lower the entire species population.
    Death to the South African mantises! But please help out our fellow New Zealand ones <3



    Well I hadnt seen any until today, however today I spotted one in my conservatory, not 20cm from a chyrsalis! I have a few new ones on the other side of the room but I had all but given up on this one, its all on its own and has been there for over 3 weeks, and been getting dark for a week so I assumed it had died. On my way out this morning I checked it anyway, to find it was emerging – wonderful – until I saw the evil green critter just waiting to pounce, grrr.



    Warning: Scary photographs – if you have a sensitive nature, do not look!



    I agree with you Mimi… fascinating insects and I don’t like killing anything… but I don’t mind helping the birds with their food source 🙂



    There have been absolutely LOADS of mantis this summer and I hate killing anything but have taken pond rocks to these guys and squidged them and let the ants come and feast on them as they hang around my mosquito net trying to figure out how to get in and nab the treats inside!
    As regards the cases, I walk around with a pointy garden stick and stab them like a bad vampire movie all the green goo oozes out!! I tried to squash as many as possible when they were babies but there creatures are just so good at camouflage…



    I would make a difference in approach for the Native NZ praying manthis and the exotic African Praying Manthis.

    The last one is very much on the increase in numbers. To the detriment of the Native one as well.

    The native praying manthis does not survive the winter. The African one does.

    They are fascinating creaturers.

    Even though we have a big established garden here, we don’t realy see any praying manthids at all. So we are lucky realy.We do have stick insects and many tree weta, but no manthids

    I must admit to something though….

    We do have a pet praying manthis called Goldie.

    She was given to us as a 1cm small critter about a year ago. We keep her in an enormous glas tank with vegetation and feed her flies. We do not want to release her because she is an African Praying Manthis, but we’ve learned heaps about these insects, just like we have from this butterfly project.

    Every living being has a place in the food chain……

    Kind Regards Esther



    I was surprised to find they would eat the chrysalis too. But I found one eating a newly released butterfly and was too late to save it.



    I’ve never come across a mantis eating a chrysalis…yet…. the mantis are a great food source for the birds though… I don’t kill them but put them where I feed my birds.



    Hi Weimom,
    I would go round with a hammer if I was you. We don’t get them down here but I have seen them in Ashburton and the shells are quite crusty. I would have no hesitation in killing the mantis as well after looking at those gruesome photos what a cannibal quite upsetting to see that as the chrysalis is so helpless.
    Cheers Margie



    Oh my goodness – they’ll even eat a chrysalis? That I did not know and it’s very worrying really because I always thought once they changed they were safe from praying mantis.

    I’m thinking (hoping!) it can’t be too common though as I know where most of mine are and can’t recall having any mysteriously disappear or suddenly appear half eaten.

    Has anyone else lost chrysalis to these things? I’d be interested to know.


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