Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mantis, Anyone?

Continuing with our insect fun facts,did you know that praying mantis can lay between 10 and 400 eggs in one sac? Often, during mating they bite the head off their mate, so he had better be quick! They typically mate in autumn. Mantis live between 10 and 12 months and females will often die in winter in colder climates.Males tend to die 2-3 weeks after mating.
This one is enjoying our roses!
 Organic gardeners who avoid pesticides buy praying mantis for biological pest control. Tens of thousands of mantis egg sacs are sold each year in garden shops.

There is a long standing American urban legend that killing a praying mantis is illegal and subject to a fine. The beginnings of this legend isn't known, but may have started due to the low number of sightings and because of how beneficial they are to gardens in which they live.

Mantis have been thought of by the Chinese as "courageous and fearless". They have been depicted in different art forms, as seen in the below sample picture, showing a human sized mantis standing on a prophet.
 M.C. Escher's DREAM
The world's largest praying mantis was recorded in China in 1929 at a length of 18 inches! That is almost the length of a human arm! Can you imagine what he could eat!

We have enjoyed our praying mantis and consider ourselves lucky when we get to see them. Nice to know that are hard at work in the garden, even if we can't see them!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the Escher art!