Praying mantises set to swarm Britain

Warming climate may be making UK a more attractive home for European species

Tom Bevan
Thursday 29 September 2022 15:47 BST
Changing climate a likely reason for insects’ invasion
Changing climate a likely reason for insects’ invasion (David Clode/

Swarms of praying mantises are set to arrive in Britain after travelling from France, experts say.

Observers have been tracking sightings of the insects in the Channel Islands as they appear to be moving further north due to climate change.

The mantises, commonly found in France, have now been found in record numbers on the southeast coast of Jersey.

They are now thought to be marching northwards with the belief a “favourable” wind could see them make it across the English Channel onto mainland Britain.

Sangan Island Conservation has been collecting data since the start of August to help track how Jersey’s environment and ecology is changing, and will submit it to the Jersey Biodiversity Centre at the end of the year.

Piers Sangan, the founder of Sangan Island Conservation, said the group began documenting sightings as mantises appeared to be moving north.

He said: “It’s interesting, and there is a pattern on the southeast coast, which is to be expected if they are coming across from France.

“At present we don’t think they are breeding but that will be the next thing we ask people to keep an eye out for.”

Mr Sangan added that the European praying mantis, which eats a variety of insects such as crickets and flies, was not a threat to humans.

“As a species they should just fit in with our ecosystem and on paper there isn’t a perceived negative impact from their arrival,” he added.

Last year it was reported that a European praying mantis was caught in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Dr Björn Beckmann, from the Biological Records Centre at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, previously said that warmer weather may be making the UK more attractive to the insects.

He added: “It was always assumed that the climate in Britain was too cold and wet for the European mantis to breed outdoors, but with the climate changing, conditions have probably become more suitable.”


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