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How to Manage Pests:

Pest Management and Identification

Mantids/praying mantids

Life stages of mantids Adult Egg case Nymph

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae

Common prey: Generalist predators on wide variety of insects

Commercially available: Yes


Adults are 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long and are usually yellowish, green, or brown. Mantids have incomplete metamorphosis and one generation per year. Overwintering eggs are laid in groups in hard, grayish egg cases which are glued to wood, bark, or other plant material. Adults and immatures have an elongated thorax and grasping forelegs, which they have the habit of holding up while waiting for prey. Mantids are wholly predaceous, feeding on many kinds of insects including beneficial insects and other mantids. They often wait for prey at flowers where they capture nectar- and pollen-feeding insects. Mantids grasp their prey with spined front legs and hold them while they eat. As mantids consume both pests and beneficials, they are difficult to use reliably for biological control.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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