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"Although a carnivore and an impressive predator, this mantis is completely harmless to humans and a beneficial species in that it eats many harmful insects, including the gypsy moth caterpillar, many aphids, flies, mites, grasshoppers and, when an individual comes upon another mantis, will show cannibalistic behavior. Thus, European mantises are solitary insects, coming together to mate only once a year. Females are known to eat the males after mating. " (Source: Encyclopedia of Life - EOL.org)
"A variety of habitats, but seems to prefer sunny areas of green growth dominated by shrubbery or herbaceous plants." (Source: Bugguide.net)
Accidentally introduced into the US on nursery stock from Southern Europe in 1899.