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When I was a kid growing up in New York we would see Praying Mantis bugs all summer. Sometimes we would "play" with them, taunting them a bit with a stick, but never hurting them since even as kids we knew that they ate all the other bugs that we hated, like mosquitoes and flies. Living here in the Midwest for the last 30 years or so, at about the same latitude as when I grew up in NY, I can't recall seeing a single Praying Mantis is all those years. Am I just not seeing them, or are they a victim of environmental pollution and loss of habitat?
 

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Well I'll Be Dipped!!!
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I saw one a few years ago. Big sucker, female I think. Sitting on a patio/deck chair next to me. Stared at me, waved it's snappers at me, moved towards me like a Kamikaze attack mantis.

I'd bet the issue with your not seeing them, is you don't get out into the woods much.
 

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We have quite a few here at the house. Usually have at least one egg case hanging on a tree seasonally.
 

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The wind serenades a purified man.
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They are fairly plentiful here. Here being the Deep South. Interesting bug, for sure.
 

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Have them here in the garden.
 
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/


I picked one up and it bit me. That hurt!



/
 

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As I recall they are fairly territorial and cover a big patch of ground so seeing a bunch of them isn’t likely.
 

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When I was a kid growing up in New York ....

Living here in the Midwest for the last 30 years or so

You can't expect to find the same species and/or distribution in two distant locations. In 2003 I moved about 2 hours south and suddenly started encountering camel crickets. Never had seen one before in my life, except photos. Then a few years ago, a female Eastern Hercules Beetle got into our basement through the chimney. WTF?! I had no idea there were any "Goliath" class beetles even living in the USA.

I mean seriously ... you folks on the southern East coast ... see many of these? Trust me, they're out there. And they're not 'endangered' or any of that biz.

 

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They're such masters of camouflage, sightings are naturally rare and their camo is so good that the bugs come to them. They never were very plentiful around here, and you really have to be looking for them for find any.
934896
 

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rip "Bud"
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Ours don't get as big as they did when I lived in the Midwest. But we have a few and they show up the same place every year. Interesting bug.... I leave them alone to do their thing. I do squish spiders, ants, critters of ill repute.
 
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I used to see one or two every year or two here in my yard in NE. I would surmise that all the crap we put on lawns now days may have an impact on the population. you can buy egg sacks on line and put them in your bushes, but the few times I checked they seemed to be out of stock.

ETA. Just checked Amazon, and it seems like there are plenty to buy..
 

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Mentally Frozen
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They're really aliens you know
 

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They are all over the place.

"There are about 1,800 species of praying mantids around the world. People often refer to any mantid as a praying mantis, but mantises are part of a smaller group within the mantids. Praying mantids are carnivores, eating mainly insects and other small animals. Many gardeners and farmers welcome mantids, because the insects they eat are often pests that hurt crops. In addition to insects such as crickets and grasshoppers, mantids eat spiders, frogs, lizards, and even small birds."
 

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I live in Southeast Michigan and I get at least one in my yard every year. I was working on a wind turbine job last summer and saw babies all over.
 

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They're such masters of camouflage, sightings are naturally rare and their commo is so good that the bugs come to them. They never were very plentiful around here, and you really have to be looking for them for find any.
View attachment 934896
I hope that's the size of a mantis with gorilla teeth and not the size of a gorilla with gorilla teeth!
 
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