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Article: Predator Insects: Nature's Ninjas: Preying Mantis

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Forum: Article: Predator Insects: Nature's NinjasReplies: 3, Views: 20
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Woodhaven, NY

July 13, 2010
9:23 AM

Post #7965050

I ordered Mantis casings to get rid of aphids on my miniature roses. Well one Mantis (who grew quite large, and I didn't know was hanging out in my butterfly bush) Was killing every Monarch it saw. I kept finding individual Monarch wings floating around in my garden, and couldn't find out where they were coming from, till one day. Looking out in the Butterfly Bush I see the Mantis holding a Monarch with two of its hands by its wings and eating its body! I couldn't believe my eyes. I didn't want to kill it, so I got it to climb on a stick and carried it over to the aphid infested roses and placed him gently there. The next day he was hanging on my porch screen looking in at me. Creeeepy! I let him be and he finally went on his merry way. I asked a garden insect expert about this odd behavior, and she never heard of it. Well, I'll never by those casings again. LOL


Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)

July 13, 2010
9:30 AM

Post #7965070

I don't think mantids particularly care for aphids. They tend to prefer flying insects, and unfortunately butterflies are part of that group.
Troy, ID

October 20, 2011
2:48 PM

Post #8857370

My mantises eat a lot of moths and butterflies and I have even seen many of them eating wasps, hornets and bees, from what I have seen thwy will eat just about anything.

I imagine the larger a mantis is the larger the prey they will want to eat and moths and butterflies would be large enough to make a good meal with less hunting.

In the end the more you eat and the less you hunt the more efficient you are and the more likely to reproduce with the saved energy, just a theory anyway.


Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 27, 2011
8:33 AM

Post #8865720

That makes sense. Mine eat anything they can catch and I've even seen them tackle bumblebees.

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Other Article: Predator Insects: Nature's Ninjas Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Great Article tcs1366 1 Apr 15, 2008 2:27 AM
Bravo. Any plans for a follow-up? PuddlePirate 2 Apr 14, 2008 9:01 PM
Preying mantis pbyrley 5 Oct 27, 2011 8:31 AM
Praying Mantis EstelleMirage 0 Apr 15, 2008 1:35 AM
Predatory in the garden Superlec 0 Apr 15, 2008 4:13 AM

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