i always do that too before, but not now here in the middle of polluted city...If you can find an overgrown, weedy field that has abundant grasshoppers, you'll likely find mantids (and ticks). A net for sweeping through the grass can turn up lots of critters you dont see.
Fields are so undervalued in our world...If you can find an overgrown, weedy field that has abundant grasshoppers, you'll likely find mantids (and ticks). A net for sweeping through the grass can turn up lots of critters you dont see.
Just my opinion but based on years of playing with insects and plants; lots of things are going on here.i am concerned about the mantids where i live.
i used to see and find them all the time as a child..but have noticed over the years, especially in the last decade or so, that i have found only a couple.
i am wondering if they are truly on the decline locally..due to pesticides, or development or whatever.
anyone else notice this phenom?
Cheri..Fields are so undervalued in our world...
Just my opinion but based on years of playing with insects and plants; lots of things are going on here.
First we do have the everything was bigger and better when you were a kid. I spent all summer, every summer from the late 60’s to late 70’s outside catching anything that was slower than I was. What I couldn’t catch I watched. And they all looked big to a little kid. Being outside for hours everyday increases the opportunity to see these creatures. Now that we are busy, large, adults who spend most of our day inside we miss what goes on outside.
Next is the loss of host plants / habitat. Most of the really good native food plants for insects are considered weeds to the average homeowner or township. Our homes are surrounded by chemically treated monocultures that really do not support wildlife. (Ted, you should not have gotten me started… I’m sorry… this is one of the things that drives me insane) We plant invasive alien species with little food value because they look better to us. Plants that are valuable to wildlife but inconvenient to us are removed. Probably my best example is the sweetgum tree. I love those trees… In the Northeastern part of the U.S. you plant sweetgum and you increase your chances of luna moths, hickory horned devils (Royal Walnut Moth), & promethea moths… but people hate them because of the messy seed balls. So they cut them down. No more food. No more moths. Norway & Japanese maples aren’t native and nobody that I can think of will eat them. Now red, sugar & striped maple - all native will be eaten by many moths around here. Back to the mantids; take away their plant eating prey and they aren’t around either. Even if the prey is just a grass eater their food isn’t here… try letting your grass grow higher than a foot… let it flower & go to seed! You will probably be fined. Meadows make good homes. Short mown areas do not.
Pesticides and biological controls must also have to some affect. I will control my ramble but our quest for the perfect bug / weed free lawn is not good.