PRAYING MANTIS (General Predator)
Latin name: Tenodera aridifolia sinensis
Praying Mantis are general predators that feed on aphids, beetles, caterpillars, chinch bugs, Colorado potato beetles, leafhoppers, hornworms, leafrollers, squash bugs, thrips and whiteflies. They feed on what they can catch! They start off feeding on fruit flies and other tiny insects and as they grow so does their prey as a full grown adult grasshoppers are eaten. Adults are large (up to 10cm/4in.) green or brownish in color with papery wings.
Praying mantis are sent to you as an egg case. Egg cases will not hatch until about mid June when the weather is hot enough and the daylight hours are longer. All will hatch within about 1 hour – they will quickly disperse as they are very cannibalistic and the egg case remains unchanged. Each mantis will set up its own territory where it will live for the summer. They are very difficult to find in the garden because they are well camouflaged. Later in the summer they will fly to find a mate this is often when they are seen. Also as the weather cools they will sit out in the sun to warm themselves.
To witness an egg case hatching, hatch it inside and then release your mantis into your garden.
SHIPPED: As an egg case that may contain 40-400 eggs. Egg cases can take 2 to 8 weeks to start hatching, though once an egg case starts hatching it takes only about 1 to 2 hours.
1 Egg case comes in resealable bag with window for easy hatching in your home with instructions . 3 and 10 cases come as bulk with one label with instructions.
RELEASE RATE: 3 egg cases cover 450m2 (5000ft2) and 10 to 100 egg cases per 1/2 ha.(1 ac.).
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HATCHING INDOORS
You will need: 1 container, it can be an old aquarium or plastic jar, netting to cover the container opening, string or rubber band, a pin, twig and misting bottle.
Cut a piece of netting to fit over the opening of your container/jar.
Attach the egg case to the twig by either pinning the open end of the mesh tube the egg case is shipped in or by pinning the top part of the egg case on to the twig. It is important to pin the egg case at least 5 cm above the floor of the cage.
Put netting over the opening of the jar and secure with rubber band or string.
Place container in a warm spot, not directly in the sun.
Mist daily, this is very important. You do not want your egg case to dry out.
Wait patiently. Check egg case daily.
Once hatched enjoy the event, and then let the mantis go in you garden. The mantis can be keep as insect pets or long as you can supply an ongoing food source for them.