|Mantid nymphs on spirea.||Mantid nymph finds plenty of aphids as food on fennel.||Mantid nymph feeds on one aphid and eyes the next meal, too.||Mantid egg case in forsythia; the eggs will hatch soon and the nymphs will feed on small flies and wasps.|
Mantids - medium dispersion, but will stay in a garden or field if adequate prey is around. When praying mantids are small, they are excellent soft-bodied insect predators. As they get bigger, they begin to eat anything that passes in front of them including more beneficial insects, like honeybees. They are like the T. rex of the insect world when they get big. Scout in the late fall to find, protect, or move their egg cases, which look like a piece of brownish-gray foam stuck on a stick or weed stem. Mantids are smart and know to lay their egg masses where aphids and other small bodies insects congregate in the spring. I commonly find mantid egg masses on bridal wreath spirea, forsythia, bubblegum bush, bronze fennel and other early season soft-bodied insect harborage plants.