Beneficial Bugs (The Praying Mantis)
I was harvesting today, and I had a famous guest along for a ride on my basket, the world famous predator insect the praying mantis. The praying mantis can be green or brown depending upon the plants they live among. They are great at blending in, which they use to their advantage when stalking their prey. Their large front legs are bent in such a way that looks as if the insect is praying, hence their name. Their head is very triangular with large eyes that look very alien. They have spikes on their legs to help in snatching and holding their victims.
Speaking of victims, some of the common victims include flies, grasshoppers, beetles, aphids, moths, mites, crickets, and any other insect that gets in their way. They will even eat each other. The females are famous for eating their mate during mating. The female praying mantis will lay eggs in a small case, eventually hatching hundreds of nymphs. Nymphs in the insect world look much like the adult only much smaller.
So if you see a praying mantis, be happy that you have enough of a diverse insect environment to support one of the most lethal insect predators. Remember, the predators won’t be there to help you if you don’t have the prey and habitat.