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, silent hunters are coming out in droves in the gardens and orchards of the Anza Valley. Praying mantis insects can be seen stalking their bug prey for a lightning-quick strike. These interesting predators are 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 imported and used as pest control in California. They have also been kept as pets. However, the California mantis is purely native to the state, according to entomologists. The praying mantis is a merciless hunter. They prey on other insects, sma
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