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?

11 thoughts on “Edible Balcony – Can anyone help me identify this bug?

  1. arista

    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!

  2. Daniel

    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!

  3. Andrew

    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.

  4. he needs food

    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!

  5. suziwong66

    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 😦

  6. Jamie

    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!

  7. Fiona

    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.

  8. dearindira

    Hi JR,thanks for responding to my SOS. IndiraHi angela,I will leave him alone! IndiraHi arista,thanks for the advice. IndiraHi Daniel, I will be careful when I'm near them. Indirahi Andrew,oh its just a baby? Will put him back in the balcony jungle. Indirahi john, I better get him to work then! Indirahi sev,they are rather cute! Indirahi suziwong66, sounds like this is one good cop to have. IndiraHi Jamie,I will sic him on the aphid plague I have on the tatsoi! IndiraHi fiona,yes i will read up on them. Seems I'm the only one who doesn't know much about them! Indira


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