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Adult mantisMantis egg case on a twig

Praying Mantids (Mantidae
) are comparatively large insects. Some may be as long as 3 in. Our native species are much smaller, however. Usually they are green, gray, or brown. Their raptorial front legs are covered with stout spines that help them grasp their prey.


Mantid egg capsules contain 200 or more eggs neatly arranged in rows. They are deposited on twigs and stems and then the frothy mass hardens. It is very unlikely that praying mantids can suppress key pests in the landscape to the extent necessary.