Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: Praying mantis

Victory in the Verbena

A female praying mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Lohit Garikipati of UC Davis) is looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yes, I'm hungry. A female praying mantis is perched upside down in our pollinator garden. She has maintained this position in the verbena over a four-day period, enduring temperatures that soar to 105 degrees. The mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as...

A female praying mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Lohit Garikipati of UC Davis) is looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female praying mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Lohit Garikipati of UC Davis) is looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female praying mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Lohit Garikipati of UC Davis) is looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Seconds later, the praying mantis nails a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Seconds later, the praying mantis nails a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Seconds later, the praying mantis nails a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, begins to eat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, begins to eat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, begins to eat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A freeloader fly, (family Milichiidae and probably genus Desmometopa) perches on a spiked foreleg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A freeloader fly, (family Milichiidae and probably genus Desmometopa) perches on a spiked foreleg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A freeloader fly, (family Milichiidae and probably genus Desmometopa) perches on a spiked foreleg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis eats the last of her prey, while the freeloader fly is out of luck. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis eats the last of her prey, while the freeloader fly is out of luck. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis eats the last of her prey, while the freeloader fly is out of luck. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All gone and done. The praying mantis is finished with her meal. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
All gone and done. The praying mantis is finished with her meal. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All gone and done. The praying mantis is finished with her meal. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM

A 'Star' Is Born and Then....

First-instar praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, as identified by UC Davis praying mantis expert and entomology student Lohit Garikpati. Photograph taken May 13 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We rarely see an adult praying mantis until late summer or fall. Their offspring are out there, though. And sometimes we see life go full circle. On Sept. 23, 2018, we watched a Mama Stagmomantis limbata, as identified by UC Davis entomology...

First-instar praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, as identified by UC Davis praying mantis expert and entomology student Lohit Garikpati. Photograph taken May 13 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
First-instar praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, as identified by UC Davis praying mantis expert and entomology student Lohit Garikpati. Photograph taken May 13 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

First-instar praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, as identified by UC Davis praying mantis expert and entomology student Lohit Garikpati. Photograph taken May 13 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

How tiny is the first-instar? This tiny. And that's a red spider mite that crawled onto the dime. Note the chunk of abdomen missing on the first-instar--probably due to sibling cannibalism. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
How tiny is the first-instar? This tiny. And that's a red spider mite that crawled onto the dime. Note the chunk of abdomen missing on the first-instar--probably due to sibling cannibalism. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

How tiny is the first-instar? This tiny. And that's a red spider mite that crawled onto the dime. Note the chunk of abdomen missing on the first-instar--probably due to sibling cannibalism. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This was a very gravid mantis, Stagmomantis limbata on Sept. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This was a very gravid mantis, Stagmomantis limbata on Sept. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This was a very gravid mantis, Stagmomantis limbata on Sept. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mama mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata, depositing an ootheca or egg case on a redwood stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Mama mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata, depositing an ootheca or egg case on a redwood stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mama mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata, depositing an ootheca or egg case on a redwood stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 7:12 PM

Henrietta and the Drone Fly: The Predator and the Prey

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, perches on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). She is as patient as she is persistent. The drone fly, aka syrphid and also known as a hover fly or flower fly, makes the fatal mistake of touching down on...

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Food Yard & Garden

Henrietta and the Ootheca

Henrietta, a Stagmomantis limbata, hanging out in a patch of Mexican sunflowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Talk about the unexpected. “Look!” says Jim. He pauses by the kitchen counter. "Over there!” he says, pointing. I don't see anything except the half-filled coffee pot. Then I see it. "There," as in “over there,” is a...

Henrietta, a Stagmomantis limbata, hanging out in a patch of Mexican sunflowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta, a Stagmomantis limbata, hanging out in a patch of Mexican sunflowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, a Stagmomantis limbata, hanging out in a patch of Mexican sunflowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the ootheca that Henrietta (which means
This is the ootheca that Henrietta (which means "home ruler") deposited before we released her. The species? Stagmomantis limbata. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the ootheca that Henrietta (which means "home ruler") deposited before we released her. The species? Stagmomantis limbata. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the ootheca, magnified with a Leica DVM6 microscope operated by Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology.
Close-up of the ootheca, magnified with a Leica DVM6 microscope operated by Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology.

Close-up of the ootheca, magnified with a Leica DVM6 microscope operated by Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology.

Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Focus Area Tags: Environment

Ooh, an Ootheca!

Ms. Mantis, on a redwood stake in a milkweed planter in Vacaville, Calif., is trying to find a place to lay her egg mass, an ootheca. This image was taken Sunday night, Sept. 23. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hide and seek. She hides 'em and we seek 'em. We've spotted as many as seven adult praying mantids at a time in our little pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif., but never once have we seen any of them laying eggs. Until now. The praying mantis lays...

Ms. Mantis, on a redwood stake in a milkweed planter in Vacaville, Calif., is trying to find a place to lay her egg mass, an ootheca. This image was taken Sunday night, Sept. 23. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ms. Mantis, on a redwood stake in a milkweed planter in Vacaville, Calif., is trying to find a place to lay her egg mass, an ootheca. This image was taken Sunday night, Sept. 23. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ms. Mantis, on a redwood stake in a milkweed planter in Vacaville, Calif., is trying to find a place to lay her egg mass, an ootheca. This image was taken Sunday night, Sept. 23. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This looks like a good spot. This praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, is native to North America. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This looks like a good spot. This praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, is native to North America. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This looks like a good spot. This praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, is native to North America. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ms. Mantis begins to work. Note the frothy cream-colored substance. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ms. Mantis begins to work. Note the frothy cream-colored substance. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ms. Mantis begins to work. Note the frothy cream-colored substance. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the process. This Stagmomantis limbata did so in the open. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the process. This Stagmomantis limbata did so in the open. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the process. This Stagmomantis limbata did so in the open. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

At dawn the next morning, we found her still on the stake with her hardening ootheca. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
At dawn the next morning, we found her still on the stake with her hardening ootheca. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

At dawn the next morning, we found her still on the stake with her hardening ootheca. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, October 1, 2018 at 4:59 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Natural Resources

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