- South Carolina, United States
- Vetsy is my nickname that my family have fondly called me since my childhood. My blog reflects my personal views about the world around me. My topics may be anything that interest me but the majority of it is about my favorite past times...nature and gardening. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment or becoming a follower.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Photo credit: newnaturalist.com
As a child I thought the Praying Mantis was one of the scariest, but yet the most interesting insect that I had ever seen. It appeared very alien to me with it's triangle shaped head and large eyes that set at the corners of it's head. The fact that it is even an insect continues to disturb me until this day. It's just sooo wieerrrd it gives me the creeps!
As I began to move toward gardening with-out pesticides. I entertained the thought of using beneficial insects and the Praying Mantis happened to be one among many on the list.
It, I read.. has a ravenous appetite and will gobble up those insects that trouble the gardener like... aphids, flies, crickets and grasshoppers, but it's ferocious appetite causes it to cross the line... Adding to it's dinner plate beneficial insects like lacewings, and hover flies....
Mmmm, I thought to myself..... perhaps the benefits will out-weigh a few of it's short comings... Maybe if it ate more aphids than hover flies... perhaps I could ignore it's misgivings... .... Not!!
Praying mantis eating aphids. Photo © Debbie Hadley, WILD Jersey
While searching the net... I came across several photo's and video's of Praying Mantises chewing on one of my favorite little pollinators.. the (Hummingbird) and I was Mortified!!
I fell in love with hummer's every since I visited my family in South Carolina for our family reunion. I sat spellbound as I watched them zoom, in...out.. and around, the flower gardens. I thought about one day returning to the south and once there, I would plant everything the hummers enjoyed.
I was awe stricken and felt a little queasy after viewing these photos...But at the same time, I'm thankful that Mr. Walkup and others on the net are sharing their photos and Videos ( Youtube) with the public, for it has educated and alerted me about the power, and behavior of the Praying Mantis.
Warning: Photos Below are graphic!
photo credit: Richard Walkup. West Chester, PA
The mantis impales the hummingbird chest with its foreclaws.
Photo by Sharon Fullingim, published on National Geographic Your Shot
I was not happy to learn that the Carolina Mantis happens to be one of South Carolina's official insects....But.. I don't plan on encouraging them to stay around... ladybirds will work just fine thank you.
Have you used beneficial insects? If so which ones? What do you think about using the Praying Mantis as an beneficial insect in your garden?