Friday, August 28, 2009

Say Your Prayers

Returning to the house from the barn, I thought I noticed a scratch in my siding. How could that happen?

On closer inspection, I discovered the truth.

The scratch had legs!

Sure enough, a praying mantis! I read that praying mantids can be as big as 12 inches long, and as carnivores, the largest ones eat not only insects but small vertebrates like hummingbirds! Not MY hummingbirds, you don't! But take as many baby mice as you'd like we have plenty of those.

Just look at that coy pose, seemingly reverent. But the praying mantis is a poseur, luring its prey ever closer into the prayer circle until whammo! My research tells me that the mantis begins the meal before the entree stops wriggling, taking the first tender bites from the still breathing throat. My heavens! And don't forget, the female of the species frequently devours her mate, sometimes before "the act" is completed.

Don't let those green peepers fool you, this is one serious insect. Still, seeing it hanging on the side of my gray house, trying to blend in to its surroundings, I couldn't help being fascinated at how this giant bug can hide itself, and wondering just how many mosquitoes it takes to fill a mantis. I might just decide to invite more of them to come visit!


trailrider731 said...

oooooooooh, neat pic, I thought i was the only one that took buggy pix, although I have yet to post one! i'm way behind, I look forward to checking out your blog on outdoor life! oh and yes i do say my prayers! PTL

thanx ,
the best is yet to come!!!

The JR said...

Glad it wasn't a scratch!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE praying mantis -s (is the plural mantes like hypothese?) but stick bugs are even cooler! But you gotta love a woman bug who knows what she wants and then rips the head off and eats the head of the man bug. I've always been a fan of strong women ;)