South Carolina State Insect
Carolina Mantis (common name)
Stagmomantis carolina (scientific name)
Mantises are very important in agriculture and were introduced into the United States in order to counter agricultural pests. The state of South Carolina adopted the Carolina mantis as its official insect in 1988 because of its use in agriculture in managing harmful insects. They are found in abundance in the state during the summer months.
Adult: Adult praying mantises are typically 2–2.5 in (5–6.4 cm) in length with a mottled brown body that provides them excellent camouflage. Females are somewhat more green and have an abdomen that is wider than the males in the middle. The mantis head is triangular in shape with a pair of large compound eyes on the sides. They have large forelegs that are serrated and spiny to catch hold of prey. They can see up to a distance of 60 feet (25 m) and can turn their heads in a full 180-degree angle. They can detect ultrasound frequencies and can suddenly change their flight pattern in response to any threat. Males are smaller and thinner with longer wings. The wings of females only extend three quarters of the way down the abdomen.
Mantises can see up to a distance of 60 feet (25 m) and can turn their heads in a full 180-degree angle. They can detect ultrasound frequencies and can suddenly change their flight pattern in response to any threat. Males are smaller and thinner with longer wings. The wings of females only extend three quarters of the way down the abdomen.
Larvae: Most small mantises or nymphs resemble small wingless ants before they start looking like adults. They shed several times before reaching adulthood, which takes an entire season.
The mantis lives for 10–14 months. Eggs overwinter and hatch in early spring. Adults are mature by late summer and usually die by winter.
Meadows and woodland areas with abundant flowers and flowering shrubs in temperate areas.
Range: From New Jersey south to Florida in the east and from Utah to Arizona and Texas in the west. Range extends south through Mexico to Central America.
Flight period: Summer. Mantises cannot fly for prolonged periods and they prefer to fly at night.
Conservation Status: Least concern (LC)
The praying mantis is a canny predator that lays in wait by putting all its four hindlegs on the ground and remaining like that for a long time. In general mantises will stick to a small territory, although males are less territorial because they fly more (usually at night).
A mantis holds up its sharp forelegs in a "praying" posture when prey comes close and then catches it in its forelegs, biting its neck to paralyze it before being eaten. Mantises are cannibals in general and will kill and eat their mates in 25 percent of sexual encounters. Female mantises will lay up to 400 eggs during the summer months. They eggs are laid in a liquid called ootheca,which later solidifies into a hard shell.
Adults: Flies, moths, small wasps, bees, caterpillars, beetles, spiders, butterflies, crickets, spiders, grasshoppers and other mantises are the chief diet. Mantises will not eat an insect that is already dead.
Larvae: The first meal of a young praying mantis is often one of its siblings. They also feed on aphids, leafhoppers, and small flies.
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|Author: World Trade Press|
South Carolina State Butterfly
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (common name)
Papilio glaucus (scientific name)
The tiger swallowtail is a very large, yellow butterfly with wings that have black edges, black stripes, and small iridescent red and blue markings. The black stripes at the top of the butterfly's stripes. These butterflies are called swallowtails because the long "tails" on their wings look like the long, pointed tails of a bird called the swallow. The lower or hind wings have scalloped edges. There is also a version of the tiger swallowtail, a dark form that is completely black with bluish-purple markings. This is completely distinct from the black swallowtail, which is a separate species with very different markings. The tiger swallowtail butterfly was named the state butterfly of South Carolina in 1994.
Wingspan: 3.5–6.5 in (8.8–16.5 cm)
Larvae: The newly hatched caterpillar is initially brown and white and then turns green with a large head and bright "eye spots." The butterfly develops from egg to larva (caterpillar) to pupa to adult in one month.
Two to three weeks
In deciduous woods, along streams, rivers, and wooded swamps.
Range: The United States east of the Rocky Mountains. The northern range is from eastern Colorado to southern Ontario and southern Vermont. Its southern range extends to northeastern Mexico. Two closely-related species are the larger Papilio appalachiensis in the Appalachian region and the Papilio canadensisin the northeastern US and Canada.
Flight period: The first flight begins in late February or early March and continues through late autumn or early winter in the southern part of the range. There are two flights in the northern part of the range and three to four flights in the southern range.
Conservation status: Least Concern
Females lay eggs one at a time on the leaves of host plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars within one week, longer if the temperature is cool. After feeding for a week (during which the caterpillar molts several times) it seals itself into a cocoon (also known as a pupa or chrysalis) and hibernates. The insect undergoes a metamorphosis and emerges as an adult butterfly 10–14 days later. Shortly after the butterfly's wings have been unfolded and dried, the butterfly takes flight and begins to feed on flower nectar.
Adults: Nectar from the flowers of milkweed, thistles, cherry, Japanese honeysuckle, ironweed, lilac, and red clover.
Larvae: The caterpillar's first meal is its own shell. Caterpillars eat the leaves of a wide variety of trees and shrubs, including cottonwood, tulip tree, sweet bay, lemon, and cherry.
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|Author: World Trade Press|