PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — It is the season of the dreaded spotted lanternfly. These beautiful-looking bugs have been considered to be a major pest ever since they were found in Pennsylvania.
But there is one enemy of these bugs (besides humans) that lanternflies fear, and you can probably find this creature in your gardens or backyard.
Meet the praying mantis.
According to Penn State, over 600 photos were submitted to scientists at their College of Agricultural Sciences over the last few years. The photos that Penn State received show that praying mantises, along with chickens, enjoy eating the bug.
The praying mantis is considered to be a beneficial insect, meaning they will prey on any bug that they see, whether they are pests or beneficial. Old Farmers Almanac states that these creatures like to eat crickets, moths, grasshoppers, and even mosquitos. The insect also can feed on things such as frogs.
The reason these bugs stand in a strange stance for long periods is that they are waiting patiently to attack a bug or any other prey that comes into contact with them. Their forelegs are strong and feature overlapping spikes and they eat their prey with sharp mandibles.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac states that the insects have two “over” dimensioned eyes, which means they can see things in 3D, making it easier for them to strike at prey, including the spotted lanternfly.
Penn State is continuing its research on which animals and insects feed on lanternflies, you can find more information regarding that by clicking here.