Monday, February 8, 2010

Edible Balcony - Can anyone help me identify this bug?

I found this little critter in the basil bush yesterday perfectly camouflaged under a leaf. But is it a good bug or is it a bad bug? I want to keep as many beneficial insects on my balcony to control the aphids and caterpillar larvae so I'm not sure if this bug stays or gets the Big Brother eviction. I did a Google images search and think it's either a 'good' green lacewing or a 'bad' leaf insect.

Can anyone help?


  1. Looks like a Praying Mantis.. but not sure if it's "good/bad" for your garden. :)

  2. Praying mantis. Good Bug. leave him be.

  3. I agree about it probably being a praying mantis, because it has little jagged bits on its front legs. In which case it is carnivorous and won't eat your plants - but it will eat other creatures.

    Hopefully it will eat the 'bad' insects and not the 'good' ones though!

  4. It's a Praying Mantis, it eats other unfriendly bugs, and they look really rather friendly but don't pick them up -- the jagged foreclaw can inflict a rather nasty gash on your finger!

  5. Yes, a praying mantis it is, though it looks like a young one. They shouldn't be considered a pest as they like to eat all the bugs that are bad for your plants.

  6. Yup, that's definitely a young praying mantis. These guys are "meat" eaters and will eat any little spiders, parasites and leaf grubs. I have loads in my back courtyard and it's just a shame they don't eat snails!

  7. Mantis i reckon , its cute , i want one !

  8. baby praying mantis...don't think the do damage as i've had plenty this summer with no problems. very cute when they're young...not so cute when they're big buggers tho :(

  9. Yep, praying mantis. Good guy/gal, Indira, and quite a photogenic person. However, if you are a small insect like an aphid, though, this is Green Godzilla, the Death Muncher. It all depends on your point of view, of course!

  10. Looks like a preying mantis. Eats other insects, therefore a good insect to have.
    The praying mantis is rather an interesting insect to read up on. I gather they will eat anything, or rather anyone, they catch, even us. i find them fascinating.

  11. Hi JR,
    thanks for responding to my SOS. Indira

    Hi angela,
    I will leave him alone! Indira

    Hi arista,
    thanks for the advice. Indira

    Hi Daniel, I will be careful when I'm near them. Indira

    hi Andrew,
    oh its just a baby? Will put him back in the balcony jungle. Indira

    hi john, I better get him to work then! Indira

    hi sev,
    they are rather cute! Indira

    hi suziwong66, sounds like this is one good cop to have. Indira

    Hi Jamie,

    I will sic him on the aphid plague I have on the tatsoi! Indira

    Hi fiona,
    yes i will read up on them. Seems I'm the only one who doesn't know much about them! Indira