Carnivorous praying mantis put to work in the Shuswap and Okanagan

Insects introduced to the region in the 1930s to control grasshoppers eating crops

A recent video by a West Kelowna resident of a praying mantis fighting a black widow revealed a couple of things: the praying mantis is a fierce little carnivore and they can be found in the Okanagan.

The praying mantis, or mantis religiosa, is also seen from time to time in the Shuswap.

According to the Royal BC Museum, the insect was introduced to the Okanagan and Shuswap regions in 1937 and 1938 by federal entomologists in an attempt to control a grasshopper population that was consuming agricultural crops.

Mantids largely disappeared from the region soon after, though in the 1970s a small population was found in the south Okanagan.

In the last decade, the praying mantis is reported to have spread to Kamloops and into the Kootenays.

The Royal BC Museum notes identifying characteristics of a praying mantis include a long, slender neck, spiny front legs and prominent compound eyes. Adults grow from 47 to 56 millimeters in length.

Read more: VIDEO: Praying mantis fights black widow in epic West Kelowna battle

Read more: What the heck is this? Smiling spider-crab-thing outside Okanagan home

Read more: Giant beetle a curious find on the shores of Shuswap Lake


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

COVID-19: Interior Crisis Line calls increase

Calls directly related to pandemic up 25 per cent over final two weeks of March

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

Most Read