I scatter dozens of mantis babies every year in my garden, and one of my joys is when they stay put and I get to watch them grow up over the summer.

This one has chosen a great place to squat as it's both seemingly well protected and also easy for me to view every day. I'm not quite sure how it's finding food, but it must be.


The Carolina mantis will turn green, brown, or a combination of the two based upon its surroundings.
This one has chosen a nice mottled brown color with striking green legs:

Nice! How about a closer look?

I'm not the only one doing the looking:

There are surely at least a dozen more mantises hidden away in the wilds of my garden (possibly several dozens) but this is the only one that I've seen recently.

I don't think I've ever had a mantis choose such a photogenic location before!


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susie @ persimmon moon cottage  – (August 11, 2016 at 5:18 PM)  

I usually have a couple of mantis in my zinnia beds. It seems to me they like to return to the same areas/plants each day, because I see them each day in just about the same places when I am out watering. Don't they look more intelligent than your average bug? They always tilt their heads and look at me when I take pictures of them. One time as I was taking one's picture, my view window on the camera was suddenly obstructed. It turned out that the mantis had jumped up onto my camera lens. They always seem kind of tame to me, but I don't really need an "in your face" attitude like that from them.

It's always fun seeing what is going on in your yard and garden.

Rock rose  – (August 13, 2016 at 3:47 PM)  

I am interested in what you mean by scattering the babies. Do you keep the egg case so that you can distribute them evenly? We watched hundreds hatch underneath our coffee table on the patio one morning. They fell to the ground and were rushing around all over the place. Then a spider fell upon one and wrapped it up by going around in circles. We had to get down very close to see what was going on as it was not clear. Tiny spider and tiny mantis. There's one that didn't make it. At least one of your grew to adulthood. And he was a handsome fellow.

Alan  – (August 13, 2016 at 6:16 PM)  

Susie: My experience is that the young mantises pretty much stay in one small area (roaming just a few inches at most) as long as they're finding food.

Jenny: I overwinter several egg cases in a jar in the refrigerator, and when they hatch in May/June I then walk around the garden "sprinkling" them as I go. It's fun! (We also have the "wild" ones hatching and coming up onto the deck...)

Anna K  – (August 15, 2016 at 10:23 AM)  

Oh my, Alan - those are spectacular photos!!! As you said - your mantises picked very photogenic locations too. Beautiful - if I were you, I would frame at least a few of them. I need to try to get mantis eggs again - last time I tried, I missed when it hatched and never saw a thing again. Seeing your photos and hearing about your fun makes me think I need some. Where do you place them to make them stick around?

Alan  – (August 15, 2016 at 2:38 PM)  

Anna: I put them anywhere that I can! In low-growing bamboos, on tall ones, on perennials, blooms -- really anywhere I think they will be able to find food.

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