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Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Carolina Mantis.

 Updated: 6/19/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Carolina Mantis has made its way across most of the continent, making it possible for almost every gardener to see one in person.



The Carolina Mantis is the most common mantis found across North America despite its name. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Some are very green, while others are gray or brownish. Their bodies are clearly mantis-like, exhibiting a prayerful pose with its front pair of legs. This first set of legs are substantially thicker than the rear pairs. It has a narrow thorax ('chest') and thicker abdomen. Bulbous eyes with tiny black pupils are elevated on the sides of the head. A pointed mouth looks almost like a beak. Short antennae help detect environmental information. Wings are tucked along the top of the abdomen when at rest. The hefty Carolina Mantis can fly. The females of the species have a wider abdomen than their male counterparts and are generally larger overall. Carolina Mantis females have been known to eat the male even while in the process of mating.

The Carolina Mantis is a gardener's best friend. It consumes a huge quantity of pest insects that could otherwise damage or destroy flowers and produce. Adults sit on flowers, garden plants and shrubs, waiting for insect prey to come along. They use their front legs to help secure an insect and their sharp mouthparts to eat it. Mantis eggs can be purchased online before summer so gardeners can hatch a population of them locally. Eggs are thin discs and a female usually lays them in groups on twigs or branches. A mother covers her eggs with a foam believed to seal in moisture so the eggs do not dry out. Small nymphs hatch in the spring and early summer. While some people have captured them and kept them as pets, Carolina Mantises have an important ecological role in the garden ecosystem. If caught, admire the insect and release it the same day to allow it to play its important part in keeping pest insects under control.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Mantodea
        Family: Mantidae
          Genus: Stagmomantis
            Species: carolina
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Stagmomantis carolina
Other Name(s): Praying Mantis
Category: Mantid
Size (Adult; Length): 48mm to 60mm (1.87in to 2.34in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; brown; black; gray
Descriptors: praying, mantid
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.