Really Dumb Question!!!!!!!!!!

DrGigglez666

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
259
I live in Virginia and i havent seen many mantis's this year maybe one and i was wondering why do always hang out on brick walls or thorn bushes?? Is it just normal or what??
 

beetleman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
2,872
it's not a dumb question:) when i lived up north they were always on the back of my house on the brick walls and the rose bushes,i used to see their eggcases on the bushes right near the house,plus my huge veggie garden was close by,they were everywhere even on my car,awesome site:clap:
 

DrGigglez666

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
259
I need to go hunting well know that i mention it they cut the bushes down here at the place i live!!! CRAP :wall: I guess i could still look on the walls and other places.
 

padkison

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
901
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.
 

kahoy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
859
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.
i always do that too before, but not now here in the middle of polluted city...


well good luck!!!
 

Ted

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,187
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?
 

luna

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
178
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...

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?
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.

Cheri
 

Ted

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,187
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.

Cheri
Cheri..
Firstly..thank you the brilliant and thoughtful response!
I know this seems a copout reply, but i agree with you 1000 percent.
i dont want to get started, either, because it ticks me off more than anything.
The city completely shredded my favorite local field, where all the butterflies had been busy laying eggs, and i mean this field was thick with insects of every kind..it was heaven, even to a lifelong collector like myself.
i wanted to cry..seriously..i came home one day and it was two inches tall..i dont think the natural grasses and flowers had even started seeding yet..
now the grass has grown back even taller than before![no lie..its now six feet tall.] and no flowers came back so far..its texas, things can die quickly.
anyhow..i do think the mantids are just another amazing creature that is in the decline.
and i'm sorry to see it in my lifetime.
i wished i could think of a way to help them..but land is disappearing here as quick as you can say ''Quickie mart''
ok..must get off my soapbox..
i am curious to hear if other people here have noticed a similar steady decline of the occurance of mantids in their area..or elsewhere.
it seems we agree about this being probable.

thanks, Cheri

Ted
 

luna

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
178
We don’t have tallgrass in PA! I’d get lost in it.

I so know that crying feeling… used to plant wildflowers behind my fence along the road but it really wasn’t my property. It seemed like every time they were ready to bloom the township would mow them down. On the other side of that road is the most awesome field of milkweed. I really used to cry when they mowed that. After 20 years of this I have learned; at least this field comes back and they still haven’t built anything there. I try to stay positive about that site; they cut early in the year and the milkweed gets a fresh round of leaves before the monarchs arrive in PA!

Folks on the highway (other side of that field) must think I am the crazy lady in the field at times… bucket, camera or butterfly net in hand. I don’t care… if it ever goes up for sale (and if it is reasonable; it has access to a major highway so it is probably commercially zoned) its mine!

I don’t recall mantids ever being that plentiful by midsummer – just one or two per yard a day. They were always a good find. But there are less now in my yard. I have only seen 5 or 6 all season so far. My neighbors have also cut down a lot of trees and we removed hedges to put up a fence so we are probably to blame for some of the reduction this year in my own vacinity. Now my garden at school was loaded with egg cases. I think we found at least 8 or 9 while trimming back the butterfly bushes. They really seem to need a place with some cover.

I think many people on this site already do or can learn to care but most other people… weeds and “bugs” …they think we are better off without them… until it affects our food supply we’ll have to just keep crying.
 

oxbaker

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
88
I live in Southwestern Ontario and mantids were plentiful around here when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's. To my recollection I've only seen two of them in the last five years or so and both of those accidentally made their way into my place of employment. I let both of them go outside hoping that they would flourish but sadly that doesn't appear to be the case. Not in these parts anyway.
 

DrGigglez666

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
259
So basically their gettin cut down on and stuff?? Yea when i was younger id always see them young and old ones now nothing!!
 
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