Monday, 9 September 2019

Say a Little Prayer

There was an unexpected guest welcoming me home a couple of days ago. He was resting on the inside of the window frame. He must have sneaked in through the open door, as all the windows have bug screens.

He (or possibly she?) is a green Praying Mantis, a very strange insect indeed. They have triangular heads with bulging compound eyes, three smaller eyes and a pair of antenna supported on flexible necks. They can see in 3D with all those eyes. They can turn their heads almost 180 degrees. Their front legs are enlarged and adapted for catching and gripping prey.
 I gently caught him in a kleenex, carried him outside and put him on the patio table where I could get a good look at him.... wow, what a weird creature.
I transferred him to the potted strawberry plant, and from there to a geranium.  The Praying Mantis is a predator, catching its dinner ambush style, moving fast and furious towards some unsuspecting live insect. It grips the intended food with the spikes on it's front legs. 
A PM this size would go for insects, but they are capable of killing prey 3 times their size. The larger varieties have been known to eat humming birds, frogs and lizards. They like their food sill squirming!
And if you are a male PM, watch out. Your lady friend might bite your head off in the process of making babies. Well, a girl's gotta keep her energy up to look after all those eggs!

21 comments:

  1. Fascinating creatures! I’ve never seen one up close.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just leave your door open and you may get a visit.... that's what I did!

      Delete
  2. Fascinating creatures. Possibly all the Mantis that are praying are males ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love them, and seeing them is always a treat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are probably much bigger in Australia! This one was about 3 inches long.

      Delete
  4. Awesome captures! I would freak out if one came close to me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic close-ups of this incredible creature. Thanks for sharing the info on these guys, I never knew all that before. They sure are very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great photographs of your visitor. Insects are the most astonishing creatures, though I'm glad that they don't get any bigger!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd make a killing as a Praying Mantis abstinence coach.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A very beautiful creature. Glad that you are an animal lover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always interested in the odd creatures that occur in nature. I was amazed to find this one sitting on the window frame.

      Delete
  9. They are such strange looking insects Shammi, almost alien like 😊 Super shots of your visiting PM ✨

    ReplyDelete
  10. I did not know these things about them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have only seen several of these critters in my life time.
    I think they are scary...fascinating...those bulging eyes...and swivel head...what nightmares and horror movies are made of.
    Terrific photos.

    ReplyDelete
  12. any insect, animal or plants that eats insects is a friend of mine.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete

All comments welcome.... unless your name is Anonymous..