Agile Ground Mantid 
(Also called Ground Mantis)

Bug Index  



Agile Ground Mantis

Ground Mantids are considered beneficial bugs because they are very active hunters. They eat moths, flies, grasshoppers, and crickets. The Ground Mantid can run very fast - so fast that they hard to capture. Flying males are often attracted to lights; and this is one of the only ways that scientists have been able to catch them.

Ground Mantids chase their prey across the ground from early spring to late summer. Even though they are considered beneficial bugs because they eat these other pest insects, you should know that they are also extremely aggressive. Agile Ground Mantids defend themselves against predators by stretching out their forearms and standing as tall as possible so they look big. They try and intimidate predators. by looking bigger and tougher than they are.

The Agile Ground Mantid is an Endangered Species of insect. They live in the dryer regions of the United States and Canada and they are endangered because their habitats are being destroyed by people. The Ground Mantid can be found from Colorado to Arizona and into Mexico. They also live in California, the Dakotas, and occasionally in Texas.

The Agile Ground Mantid lives mostly on the ground. Sometimes they can live in low vegetation like shrubs and dry grasses such as sage and antelope brush. As you can see from the pictures, the ground mantis is hard to find because of their dusty brown color. Their shape and coloring provide excellent camoflage.

Ground mantids are small very slender insects. They are 5/8 to 7/8 inches long (15-150 mm), with a triangle shaped head that moves around a lot, prominent compound eyes, and antennae that are so thin they look like threads. Ground Mantids have long fore legs are well designed for grasping and holding prey. They also have long, slender middle and hind legs that are used for walking, standing, and leaping. .

More about why Agile Ground Mantids are endangered: In the areas where these insects live, farmers have ploughed and irrigated the land to produce tree fruits, grapes, and vegetables. Ground Mantids do not live on these kinds of plants - they like to be on the ground. Pesticide use has also killed many Ground Mantids living around farms and agricultural areas. When sheep, or cows graze on the land, Ground Mantids are have to move or they die. This is because grazing animals change the kind of plants that grow in an area and they change the ground where the mantids live.

Agile Ground Mantid standing tall
Agile Ground Mantid standing tall

Agile Ground Mantid - small compared with a human finger
The Ground Mantid looks small compared with a person's fingers

Agile Ground Mantid
You can see the Ground Mantid better when he is not so well camouflaged