Praying mantises advance on Anza

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A praying mantis hunts in a garden in Anza. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Stealthy hunters are coming out in droves in the gardens and orchards of the Anza Valley. Praying mantises are stalking their insect prey while helping to control pests on vegetables and fruit. Stagmomantis californica, the common California mantis, is native to the western United States. This species is most often observed, but there are also three other types living in the region – European, Chinese and Mediterranean mantises. Some species of praying mantises are used as pest control in California. They have also been kept as pets. However, the California mantis is native to the state. The praying mantis is a merciless hunter. They prey – not pray – on other insects, small birds and reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians and even other mantises. These creatures are famous for
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