Tag Archives: Praying Mantis

Long John Mantis

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Rails.’ See more responses here.

Here’s a praying mantis on a railing. Typically, I line up photos where horizons are horizontal and strong vertical lines are vertical. This photo’s an exception. I think the off-kilter lines complement the off-kilter appearance of the mantis, especially since this mantis had lost an eye and a leg, hence the title of this post.

Praying mantis

I usually think of praying mantises as just that, but there are more than 2,000 mantis varieties. Ones that are most often seen in Hawaii include Giant Asian mantis (Hierodula patellifera), Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina), and European mantis (Mantis religiosa).

This one is probably a Giant Asian mantis. While I usually see green mantises, they can change color so this reddish one is not that unusual.

Thanks to Hawai’i Insect ID for help with identifying this. For more information about Hawai’i Insect Identification, go to flickr.com/groups/hawaii-insect-id/pool/.

Praying mantis eating a wasp

Yesterday, I posted about the dangers geckos pose to a praying mantis that has been living on a spider lily.

Today’s post is about the advantage of that location for the mantis. The primary benefit is that the spider lily’s flowers attract wasps, bees and other insects. In these photos, the mantis has caught a good-sized paper wasp, securely held by its forelegs. It held the wasp in that position for a while, but once it began its meal, it made short work of devouring the wasp. Next day I saw it with a bee and a beetle.

As the spider lily flowers fade, new ones pop up on other stalks, so the insect attraction has been fairly continuous.

Praying mantis and gecko

For the past three weeks, this praying mantis has been a fixture on this spider lily. The downside of this location is that the plant is a favorite spot for gold dust day geckos. The geckos would no doubt like to eat the mantis, but have so far not made a move that I’ve seen. I suspect that one reason for this is that the geckos have learned that, while the mantis looks like it never moves, when they do, they move fast. A few futile sorties against a mantis would make any gecko decide to seek easier prey.

Tomorrow, I’ll post about the upside of this location for the mantis.