Is that ‘praying’ or ‘preying’?
Apparently it’s ‘praying’, after the prayer like stance that these beautiful insects take. Their stick like figure, supported by incredibly spindly legs, is usually camouflaged so that they can hide within their environment.
However, this praying mantis was anything but camouflaged in our lavender hedge. It had been attracted by the veritable feast of flies that have been found resting there, preying on them and getting fat – though you could hardly tell!
The giant praying mantis is a beautiful insect that fascinates children and many collect them as pets. They don’t bite, aren’t slimy and usually won’t scare your little sister. However, they may eat each other so it’s best to keep only one – that is, if you were planning to keep one.
Praying mantids aren’t the most useful predator in the garden as they’re indiscriminate in their food sources. They will eat ladybugs just as quickly as they would eat aphids and flies. Also, they are fairly ineffective in trying to rid your garden of unwanted insect populations.
But, they are engaging little critters and when one does happen upon your garden it’s always tempting to pick it up and take a look.