Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information about the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Desert Mantis - Iris oratoria - male

Desert Mantis - Iris oratoria - Male
Kelso Station, Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, California, USA
September 19, 2015
Size: approx 2" to 2.5" long
This mantis was one of the hundreds of insects attracted to the sidewalk lights at about 10:00 pm around the Kelso Station Headquarters in the Mojave National Preserve. It was between two and three inches long and I believe it either Stagmomantis californica or S. limbata, but without a photo of the face I don't know how to tell the difference. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Moved from Stagmomantis.

Iris oratoria, male
Iris oratoria, male

“Praying Mantises of the United States and Canada”

I agree it is a Stagmomantis species. It is an adult male; S. californica and S. limbata can be hard to distinguish outwardly. In addition to a facial shot, images of the hindwings and the dorsal abdomen are needed to be sure.

John Stanard, are you the one
John Stanard, are you the one who wrote to me about hybridization of S. californica and S. limbata here on bugguide through comments on another picture some time ago?



Hi Nathaniel
Although I don't remember it, I may well have. Here is a confirmed photo of the two. David Ferguson has expressed a similar opinion based on his experiences in the desert southwest. Discussion here.

Mantids will mate with differ
Mantids will mate with different species I have seen from photos, but don't produce offspring. haha

Did you rule out Iris oratori
Did you rule out Iris oratoria? For some reason he looks kind of Iris oratoria to me. Did you look at the proportions of the front legs? I read that S. limbata and I. oratoria differ in front legs I think among other things.

Thank you very much! I suspected that it might not be identifiable to species based on these photos but it is a lesson in what to photograph next time.

I greatly appreciate your insights and taking the time to respond.

You're welcome. =)
You're welcome. =)

Moved from ID Request.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.