Montana has two species of native mantid …both of which are much smaller than the non-native European mantis. Each year gardeners purchase European mantis egg cases (called oothecas) with the idea that the emerging nymphs will eat insects that are bad for their flowers or vegetables. It’s debatable whether they have a beneficial impact since the growing mantids inevitably eat insects that pollinate our plants too. In addition to the annual introduction of European mantids by some gardeners, in late summer / early fall the females will lay two to three oothecas …and if we have a mild winter, we may be getting mantids through natural reproduction.
Photos by Aimee Long on 7/23/20 in Missoula, MT.