Invasion of the Mantids

6 Aug

Last night before going to bed I was browsing through Flickr and came across some stunning macro shots of insects by Scott Cromwell. I spent quite a bit of time marveling over his images of mantises and was actually creeped out a bit by their bizarre appearance. As I was browsing the images I realized I hadn’t seen any praying mantises since our arrival to Israel last December and I wondered if they existed here.

Mantis Tries To Scare Dog

Mantis Tries To Scare Dog by Scott Cromwell

The Poser by Scott Cromwell

The Poser by Scott Cromwell

This morning when I went to check my email I saw a praying mantis perched outside on the shutter of my studio window. He swiveled his head around to look at me as I sat down at my computer. I am not making this up. Did I just conjure the mantis up by musing over them or was it just a freaky coincidence?

My images aren’t nearly as spectacular as Scott’s but I think I get extra credit for going outside in my pajamas to get this shot.

Praying Mantis on Window Shutter

Unexpected Visitor

And yet the story continues. After breakfast I went outside to do some weeding in our front yard. Just as I was ready to pull out a weed I spotted a miniscule recently-hatched mantis on the weed. I ran in to get my camera and managed to get a couple of shots of the little guy before he hopped away.

Baby Praying Mantis

I wonder if he ate the critter that chewed the clover?

Baby Praying Mantis

In this shot he has swiveled his head around to inspect me.


4 Responses to “Invasion of the Mantids”

  1. Don September 17, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    Dear Lenora — Love the mantisses! Your observation is apt: mantids do like wet climes usually– isn’t the area you were in arid? Somebody tell Scott the matis didn’t eat the clover. Strict carnivores all, as far as I know.

    • Lenora Genovese September 17, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      I was the one who took the photo of the mantis and clover and made that erroneous supposition. I just checked Wikipedia and according to them (it?) “Mantises are exclusively predatory.” So, I guess the question should be, “I wonder if the mantis ate whatever it was ate the clover?”!

  2. Don September 18, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    Dear Lenora– I read somewhere that the mantids are the only insects that can swivel their
    heads. Yes , as far as your wee green friend is concerned, clover is food’s food.

    • Lenora Genovese September 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Amazing creatures, aren’t they? BTW, I changed my photo caption…

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