A new friend
I made a new friend today. He’s a male (I believe) praying mantis of the Stagmomantis genus, probably californica. It may be a young one—it was I believe about 6cm long.
This is where we first found it:
He seemed happy on the warm wall in the noon sun, but by the time I left work he was still there and looking somewhat bewildered and definitely chilled. I picked him up and he rode in my hands, eventually sticking his head out the little window I left for him and watching his surroundings with evident interest.
While I have my doubts about the safety of the nearby landscaped beds, when we passed a patch of flowers he crawled out onto my knuckle looking impatient, so I let him down, rather than taking him to some that looked less likely to be sprayed. Here he is looking much happier:
Garden education programs should familiarize new gardeners with their local beneficial insect life! What if new gardeners got the opportunity to meet and care for our friendly local mantids at their local garden clubs? What if more school gardens raised native mantids and then released them? I hope that people would be more likely to refrain from using potentially harmful pesticides. I hope my new friend finds good bugs to eat that haven’t been made toxic by humans.Tweet