Our Tolland County Extension office has had a lot of praying mantis in the gardens this year. Three more egg cases were found earlier this fall. Each case takes about five months to hatch, waiting for a few weeks of warmer weather, when they sense “summer.” The cases can hold anywhere from 100-200 tiny Mantises.
Although the Praying Mantis can be elusive and camouflage into their environment, we’ve been lucky to watch them hatch and see them around the gardens this year. Spend some time quietly observing your garden, you never know what you will find.
As summer winds down, pay close attention to your garden and other areas of woods and open space – you might see a Praying Mantis. We have had several of these at the Tolland County Extension Center lately.
The European praying mantis is found throughout the state and is also the state insect. They are green or brown and eat aphids, flies, grasshoppers, caterpillars and moths. Praying mantis are a beneficial insect for farmers and are seen as an important symbol of the natural environment.
The name for the praying mantis comes from the position they take while hunting. Mantis’ stand motionless with their special front legs raised in a position that looks like meditation. In Greek, Mantis means prophet or diviner.
Be on the lookout for this special insect while you enjoy the outdoors, and make sure to protect them from harm when possible.