Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae


Mantids are uncommon in most of Colorado but are familiar insects to most gardeners. All mantids have front legs, which are large and well-designed for grasping prey. The segment of the body containing these legs (prothorax) and abdomen are elongated and slender. Mantids also have the ability to turn their heads in order to see in all directions and have widely spaced eyes that give them excellent binocular vision. Mantids are general predators that feed on any insect. They have one generation per year with winter spent as eggs within a pod. Mantids are commercially available for purchase and can be used in augmentative biological control. 

Adult European Mantid

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, 
Adult European Mantid. 

Quick Facts

  • Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the yard and garden. 
  • These beneficial mantids can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.
  • Common insect parasitoids include flies and small wasps. 
  • When insecticides are needed, choose ones that are selective and less likely to harm beneficial insects and mites. 

CSU Extension Fact Sheet

Download or view the CSU Extension’s PDF fact sheet for your reference.