Sunday, October 28, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week

Continuing the insect theme, this week's critter is the Carolina Mantid, a native species of preying mantis and the state insect of South Carolina.

These are significantly smaller than the non-native Chinese Mantid featured in the prior post, with the Carolina species topping out at about four inches versus up to eight for the Chinese variety. As they inhabit very similar niches this can put the native species at a disadvantage.

Like the Chinese Mantid, the Carolina Mantid is a voracious predator and has been known to go after frogs and lizards in addition to the normal insect prey. Highly variable in color, from green to the molted brown seen here. So while I've probably seen them before, and thought them to be of the Chinese or European (another introduced species) variety, the molted appearance of this individual is what made me take a second look. And find a new yard critter.

You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts listed here.

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