Another New Species: Carolina Mantis

R- was in the barn, and spotted (because it jumped off the overturned water tub he was planning to sit on) a pale gray preying mantis (try saying that four times fast!)    I’m off to to see what I can find.


Praying Mantis   Stagmomantis carolina  photo September 9, 2021, ID confirmed via 9/10/2021

Adult (you can see the wings folded on her back) female (shape) mantis.  A beauty, but quite skittish.   There’s a cow-itch vine growing on the south barn lot fence and out of the ground right where the corner of the loafing area is, that’s extended a strand into the barn because the water tubs overflow sometimes and Rags dribbles his water a lot right there.  I moved two tubs away from her to get enough light and when I was done we moved them back to give her more sense of safety.  She did not want a Leatherman with its measure showing laid down beside her (no, not touching…but she wanted no part of it) and got quite frantic trying to climb the metal wall, so I gave up on that but I believe she is somewhere between 2 and 3 inches long.  More pics to be added later.  The taxonomists are playing games with this genus, so these mantises in Texas and other “far-south/west” examples may end up with a different name in a year or two.

This is the fourth species of mantis for our species list.   The others are:

Scudder’s Mantis Oligonicella scudderi (photograph 10/05?)

Can’t find my image of this one, so the page gives several others’ images.  Very slender light brown, mantis, a prairie mantis.  My image isn’t in the file where it should be, alas.  I suspect the original was on one of the external hard drives that failed; I used to move the originals to those backups, but then one time I wanted to access one, it had ‘frozen.’

Bordered Mantis Stagmomantis  limbata (photo female 8/18/08; Eric Eaton confirms genus, isn’t sure of species, but says not S. carolina) (this species confirmed BugGuide 6/10/2019)

I spotted this elegant light green mantis with a white line around her wing covers (I think wing covers) peering down into the middle of a Texas Blue Bell (our largest gentian, actually; we have four species in the area.)   The old women in town told me about going out to gather them to make bouquets and flower crowns of them.  They come in shades from lavender to this gorgeous rich purple.   It’s had three scientific names since I first learned   Eustoma grandiflora… came Eustoma exaltatum, which I like, because it’s how I feel when I see a patch of them…exalted…but now it has a far more boring Eustoma russellianum. This flower deserves to be named for itself, not for a person, no matter how great a botanist he was.  Mutter-mutter-mutter.

Praying mantis - Stagmomantis limbata - female









Here the flowers are growing amidst young Maximilian sunflowers that won’t bloom for months.


Minor Ground Mantis, Litaneutria minor, on the trail across Cactus Flat in the Dry Woods.   Identified via Eric Eaton at and confirmed by another specialist as well.  These mantises are very small and I was lucky to see it…it could easily have been stepped on.




3 thoughts on “Another New Species: Carolina Mantis

  1. Not on our species list, so yes, a new one. Until someone corrects me on, I’m convinced this gal is Stagmomantis carolina_. I’ll edit her name into the post proper once the ID is confirmed by one of the BugGuide experts.

    I’m having a fantastic week of photography!! I may make another stab at the ladybug beetle on little bluestem, if I see another one.

    Oh, the big cat is nowhere around, because this morning there were a lot of deer in the dry woods whuffing and crackling brush.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.