I like scenes like this. We know they happen all the time, but don’t often get to see them, at least in my experience.
Tag Archives: Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis waiting
This Praying Mantis spent several days on this Agave Attenuata, waiting patiently for food. There were bees all over the flowers and I think the mantis got some of them, as well as other insects.
I presumed the mantis was a female as it seemed to be getting bigger. A couple of days after taking these photos, the mantis disappeared but I saw an egg sac on a nearby tree, so maybe there will be more on the way!
Praying Mantis being shadowed
It’s the end of another month and time again for Bushboy’s Last on the Card challenge. (See more responses here.) The top photo is the last one I took in May, a Praying Mantis that’s lucky to be alive after I nearly squashed it with a water bottle on the railing where it was perched.
The bottom photo is how I think the photo looks best, cropped and adjusted to focus attention on the mantis and its shadow.
Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.
The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Close ups and Macros.’ See more responses here. Here’s a selection of some little creatures up close and personal.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Summer Bugs.’ (See more responses here.) To the best of my knowledge, Hawaii’s bugs are pretty much the same year-round. Here are some of them.
The top photo shows a bee showing impressive balance on a maiapilo flower.
Next up, clockwise from top left: Getting down to eye level with a juvenile praying mantis. A painted lady butterfly on a kiawe tree. A katydid wondering what it’s done to deserve this much attention. A seven-spotted lady beetle being watched.
The final gallery: Top left: A mango flower beetle explores a spider lily. Top right: A watchful cane spider wondering if it should run, very fast, away. Bottom left: A Hawaiian carpenter ant (Camponotus variegatus), one of too many that have taken up residence in the house. Bottom right: A rusty millipede deciding that it’s all too much!
Praying mantis egg sacs
When I’m out walking, I rarely see praying mantis egg sacs. They’re no more than an inch long and they can blend in with the trees and branches where they tend to be found. However, on a recent walk on the coast, I saw these three sacs in the space of 20 minutes, the top two on branches and the third on a tree trunk.
I’m not sure why they caught my eye, though this is the time of year when they’re typically seen. Perhaps it was because I was watching for butterflies and dragonflies, so was paying a bit more attention to details than usual.
Each sac can contain up to 300 eggs. The eggs are encased in foam, called ootheca, which hardens into the sacs seen here. The sac in the middle photo was crawling with ants, which I suspect is not good news for the would-be mantises inside.
A mantis buffet
At Upolu Airport, where I go walking a lot, there’s a mock orange hedge with a passion vine running through it. I check this hedge to see what’s happening on it and lately, it’s been overrun by flies. I don’t know why this is, but I wasn’t surprised when I noticed two praying mantises stationed in the hedge. They were having a field day.
The flies would flit around as flies do, but when one settled, a mantis would strike. Their success rate was quite high, but the flies were easy targets. The safest place to be was on one of the mantises, but that wasn’t a long term solution.
The scene remained the same over three or four days, and then, though the flies were still around, the mantises disappeared. I guess that’s understandable. I mean, how many flies do you think you could eat before you’d start looking for something different?
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Wild and Weird.’ See more responses here.
No matter how you look at them, there’s something wild and weird about praying mantises. They look like Popeye with that spindly body and bulging forearms (no pipe though). Parts of them look like they came off the production line with some assembly still required. They remain motionless for long periods, watching, waiting. When they do move, it’s with a constant back and forth motion to sneak up on prey. Then they strike like a cobra and make short work of their victims.
And yet I find that despite all this weirdness, there’s something endearing about them. They put up with intrusive photographers and they keep still for them. What’s not to like.
Also posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Perspective.’ See more responses here.