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Praying mantis - good or bad?

WE have had an explosion of praying mantis in our garden. What do they eat? Are they good or bad?


PRAYING MANTIS are as friendly in the garden as their graceful appearance implies, feeding not on plants but on a wide range of insects, including flies, mosquitoes, caterpillars, wasps, cicadas and aphids. They have a voracious appetite and aren't too fussy about what or who they eat, sometimes even resorting to eating their own kind!

There are two kinds of praying mantis in New Zealand, the South African springbok mantis, which was first recorded in 1978 and is now well established around the greater Auckland area, and the common mantis which you can find in many parts of the country.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 175, 2005, Page 30

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: October 25, 2005