Carolina Mantid, Praying Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)

Order: Dictyoptera
Family: Mantidae
Genus: Stagmomantis
Species: carolina


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Tolleson, Arizona
Barling, Arkansas
Deer, Arkansas
Marion, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Sheridan, Arkansas
Fresno, California (2 reports)
Temecula, California
Valley Village, California
Bear, Delaware
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Hayden, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho
Davis Junction, Illinois
Hinsdale, Illinois
Nilwood, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Derby, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Calvert City, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Versailles, Kentucky
Houma, Louisiana
La Place, Louisiana
Princess Anne, Maryland
Cole Camp, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Maplewood, New Jersey
Toms River, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico (2 reports)
Croton On Hudson, New York
Beulaville, North Carolina
Clayton, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina (2 reports)
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Henderson, North Carolina
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Zebulon, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Mentor, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Old Hickory, Tennessee
Copperas Cove, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Danville, Virginia
Keller, Virginia
Penhook, Virginia
Verona, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Tenino, Washington
Liberty, West Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Oct 5, 2020, 4wolf43 from Princess Anne, MD wrote:

Very useful bug for eating bad insects. From what I have researched there are to different ones. The brown one is called the Carolina Mantis and the green on is called the Praying Mantis. I see both of them in Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula.


On Aug 26, 2018, SummerStorm93 from Hillsborough, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've been seeing a lot of these in the gardens this year, mostly around the veggies. No infestations of beetle or wasp yet this season, and the mantises are upwards of six inches long and bright green. They like to stand still for photo ops, and are surprisingly tolerant of being picked up so little kids can have a look at them. I've certainly never been bitten by one, and they make a spectacular exit by flying off when they've had enough.


On Apr 12, 2017, catnipcats from Ormond Beach, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have always had a fascination for the mantis for which I had a couple of amazing experiences. I was enjoying my orange juice while sitting in the peace and quiet of a sunny day on the patio. Wasps discovered my orange juice. What choice did I have but to share when a mantis discovered the wasps and systematically captured and consumed, I believe it was, seven wasps. The mantis dropped only the legs. Waste not, want not.

Another time and place I discovered a mantis in the back yard. Rather, the mantis discovered me. I think I had red lipstick although I don't know why that would attract the mantis. After three times, in succession, of having the mantis landing directly on my mouth I went inside. Does anyone know the attraction for the red mouth?


On Nov 1, 2012, themikesmom from Concord, NC wrote:

We also find these praying mantis bugs quite interesting; although they can be very aggressive. When my son was younger, he found one on a sidewalk and asked me if he could pick it up. What did I know, so I said yeah, go ahead and pick him up, im pretty sure their harmless as I think their endangered. After it pinched him, and my son dropped him, he preceded to chase my son down the sidewalk even though my son was 100 times bigger than him, I said shoe, go away to the mantis, who then preceded to try to chase me down and attack me too.. mwhahaha...I had to laugh at the rediculousness and hysterical site of a tiny mantis chasing a person down.
Also after reading some of these comments I bet they would be really good to have around to eat tomato horn worms and tobacco moth larvae o... read more


On Oct 1, 2010, bamtuga from Durham, NC wrote:

Praying Mantises are absolutely fascinating. I have done a blog entry about them with some nice photos:


On Aug 5, 2010, lachap2 from Versailles, KY wrote:

Yellow Female Carolina Mantis. Appeared inside my screen porch in KY. Slowly texture on abdomen are raising, identifying her as female.


On Jul 16, 2010, tardis from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

These mantids are always welcome in my garden. I put out Chinese mantis egg cases a few summers but found out quickly that they hatch out later than the Carolina mantids and are almost all consumed as nymphs. This is fine with me because I have a bunch of hummingbird feeders and the Chinese mantids tend to hang out on them and snag and eat the birds.


On Apr 16, 2010, bungalow1056 from Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Mantids are just the coolest bugs around! I have them in my gardens every year. I found two egg casings early this spring. The first hatched 04.16.2010, dozens of them scurrying about and flying off to find their summer homes.


On Dec 19, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Not certain how often these little guys show up in south California, but I've had this lovely critter residing in my container-garden for over a month and a half. I haven't managed to catch her hunting, yet, or eating anything she's caught, but she seems to be a regular.

I think she's gorgeous, and it was a treat to discover her on my Organ Pipe Cactus!


On Sep 27, 2009, raffieldgma from Raleigh, NC wrote:

I have been keeping track of this one and it is located at my work place in Durham, NC. I have watched her grow, mate and now she is about ready to lay her eggs. She has helped to keep the insects down. And considering It is in a wooded area next to a bog, this is saying a lot. They are very interesting to watch. She doesn't seam to mind me taking photos of her. The day I cought her mating, I was astonished at how long they stayed coupled together before they were done. This union took 14 hours.


On Jun 7, 2009, mantislover from Arden, NC wrote:

i found the nest yesterday. how long until the babies appear?


On Oct 14, 2008, Iceman2458 from Copperas Cove, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I captured two of these this fall, one was a solid green color and one a mottled gray/brown, both were females with wings covering about 3/4 of the body. They both laid egg sacs (ootheca) while in captivity in my garage. I keep the egg sacs to film their hatching in the spring and released the adults which will die within 3 weeks of laying the eggs. I feed them crickets and honeybees, they seem to thrive on almost any insect. They are fun to watch and photograph. I have given one egg sac to local 4th grade students for their science class.


On Sep 30, 2008, joeswife from (Debra) Derby, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

I ordered an egg sack and I had 6 mantis, one is now inside, pregnant and in my nursery, they do a great job of eating unwanted critters and so far my female has eten all the crawlies that came inside with my tropicals. I have a video of her and watched her eat a spider down there that was dropping down from a rafter. I love them!


On Apr 15, 2008, nanaluvsflwrs from Rogers, AR wrote:

I have always wondered if there's a way to attract them to my garden. I have seen a few offers in seed catalogs and have been tempted to try ordering them but they are a bit pricy. If anyone knows about this, I'd love to hear.


On Nov 8, 2007, 22miracles from Olympia, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

These seem to be rapidly producing at my sister's home. The egg encasements and the adult praying manthis are all over her fences and side of her unpainted barn. They particularly like a stack of windows against her barn.

After googling, I will not want them at my home. They eat all insects--including butterflies and bees and even a hummingbird! When I contacted a person selling them on eBay, he said they were meant for vegetable gardens. Please realize that they will spread to nearby gardens where they may not be welcomed. I think they should be listed as a nusiance and dangerous pest!

Please Google before you import them!


On Jul 24, 2007, purpledatura from Painesville, OH wrote:

absolutely educational and fascinating bug. great for your garden too. its just too bad i see them so rarely around these parts. my garden could sure use a few to eat up the nasty ones i have hanging around!


On Jun 25, 2007, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite creatures. I have observed them in the wild in all phases of their development. I love finding a gravid female in the fall. I leave her alone and let her leave her egg case, hopefully somewhere on my bushes.

Except for the lack of developed wings the babies are perfect little miniatures of the adults (nymphs).

As a child I used to bring found cocoons into the house, but when I realized that I could not keep the babies alive I decided it was better to let them stay outside where they could develop normally.

I have learned through the years that the best way to handle these insects is to leave them alone. If a juvenile mantid must be moved for some reason I find it easiest to encourage the little beastie to climb on ... read more


On Aug 8, 2006, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Adults can grow to nearly 3"long and are great predators, eating almost any insect it can catch. They have lightning fast reflexes, and can strike twice before it's prey has time to escape.

One way to tell if your mantis is a Carolina Mantid is that the wings are shorter than the abdomen and do not extend beyond the tip.

Found in meadows, shrubbery and gardens, this voracious hunter will eat any insect...even it's own mate.


On Jul 30, 2006, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

They are fun to watch, they sway when they walk.
They will eat almost any bug good or bad, even their siblings.