Backyard Nature Wednesday: A green monster

Is it an alien invader? Our new overlord from the planet Zebo? It does look like something from our worst nightmares and has been the basis for some of the monsters created by moviemakers to scare the bejeezus out of us, but actually it is a common backyard resident - the praying mantis.

A voracious predator of other insects, it is absolutely a monster from their worst nightmares - assuming insects have nightmares. It eats prodigious amounts of bad insects and so is the gardener's friend. Unfortunately, it does not discriminate and so it eats plenty of what we consider good insects as well. But on the whole, the balance seems to be on the positive side.

Gardeners who don't find sufficient mantises in their spaces often purchase mantis egg cases to increase the population. Lucky me - I have plenty of the scary-looking green monsters in my garden.  

He looks hungry, doesn't he? Better watch out, bugs!


  1. I love the new look of the site!
    It looks quite alien but also kind of cute.

    1. Thanks, Carmen. I thought it was time for a change.

  2. I have those in my yard as well as hosts of other bugs. I know it is my friend! One of my former cats used to catch them, bring them in the house, and eat all but the legs which she left under the kitchen table. I guess we all have our predators! I like your new look too.

  3. It seems such an improbable creature. But given the millions of years over which it has evolved it must be supremely adapted to its insect munching lifestyle.


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