Weekly Photo Wunderbar!

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I completely forgot about my Saturday photo, but to be fair, The Roaming Naturalist was actually socializing last night. And that doesn’t happen very often. :)

This little friend was hanging out in my garden, hunting for delicious insects. Mantids are excellent bug-hunters and don’t eat your plants, so you want them in your garden! They have beautiful startle displays like this one, and the females (at least as recorded in captivity) will routinely rip off their male partners heads and eat them after copulation. Hardcore insect love, man.

Posted on October 10, 2010, in Photo Wunderbar and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve been away a bit and just got back to see this at the same time that I was writing about the mantids in my own garden. Lovely synchronicity and it really is the time of year to find them close by as they begin to mate. Amazing creatures – it’s become a bit of an urban myth regarding their sexual cannibalism but it was only very recently that I discovered how much of that behaviour was predominantly recorded in captivity, which opens up a whole other world of discussion. I could watch the mantises for hours…..lovely image!

    • Thanks Julian! I have funny memories of mantids when I was a kid – being nosy I always wanted to pick them up and carry them around, but when you do so they cling to your skin with those little hooks and it always scared the hell out of me! It doesn’t hurt, obviously, but something about them feeling very sticky all of a sudden sent many a poor mantid flying into the bushes.

      I also hadn’t realized that the cannibalistic behavior was mainly recorded in captivity – which makes me wonder if female mantids aren’t just master dramatists…

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