Just Another Mantis Monday

“Get your camera!” My sister called through the storm door. “It’s not a snake, but I know you’ll want a picture of this.”

I grabbed my Canon and headed to the back yard, where two days prior my younger sister had spotted a black snake. (On that particular day, she had hollered “Snake!” But instead of grabbing a shovel, which she hoped I would fetch, I came round the house with my camera in my hand. The snake got away. …And I didn’t get a picture.)

This time, what peered up at me was a mantis religiosa. A praying mantis. …And it was more than happy to pose for some pictures.

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Praying mantises range from green to brown in color. Their coloring and slender bodies blend in well with grass and bushes, like this female that my sister spotted in a euonymus shrub. — Durham, NC

The praying mantis blended in so well with the bushes that we coaxed her onto a vacant bird feeder to get a closer look. (Disclaimer: No praying mantises were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

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Our praying mantis pal was safely transported from the bush to the feeder on a pair of garden clippers. She looks relaxed; but then again, that could be the stink eye she is giving me.

I’ve never inspected a praying mantis up close and at length before. I was amazed at how “aware” this insect is. She followed our movements and cocked her head from side to side. It was fascinating.

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It is thought that mantises can see up to 20 meters. Their widely-set eyes give them both a wide binocular field of vision as well as precise stereoscopic vision at close range. The dark spot on each eye is called a pseudopupil. –Durham, NC

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Commonly seen in gardens, fields, and pastures in late summer and early fall, mantises prey on moths, flies, small wasps, bees, caterpillars, and butterflies. The spiky parts on the mantis’ two front legs are used to grasp their prey. — Durham, NC

Praying_Mantis_DurhamNC

The praying mantis makes a fascinating and unusual pet. It is feisty and unafraid of humans. Besides being a ‘personable’ insect, its brilliant design demonstrates a Creator with unfathomable intelligence and ingenuity. [1]


[1] https://answersingenesis.org/creepy-crawlies/insects/ready-to-prey/

Other Sources used in this post:

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