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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Preying or Praying?

We had a late, cool "Spring" so the yard, trees and bugs seemed to get a late start this year, including the arrival of these guys.  Wayne sees a few baby ones while he mows and when he does, he picks them up and moves them to the garden or rose bushes. I hadn't seen any really big ones until last week.He was climbing the deck so I snapped his photo. If you look closely at the background you will see the picture is actually upside down.  I tried to prod the little bugger to move and to turn right side up but he just wouldn't have any of that.  I don't like looking at things upside down so flipped it. You will just have to view the grass in place of the sky here.  This guy escaped the mower blades and the birds this year to get this big.  It's hard to tell from the photo but he is about 3 1/2 inches long.  Here is a weird fact: A big mantis will eat small lizards and birds, but a small mantis will be eaten by larger birds and lizards.  I didn't see my first one until about 10 years ago while we were visiting Utah and didn't even know what they were.  Apparently Montana and Wyoming are too cold for them to survive.  I was freaked out when I first saw one but now I think they are fascinating and I rather like watching them.  They have voracious appetites where flies and grasshoppers are concerned so we welcome them to our yard.

Here is a link to see what they are all about. There is a really good photo of one here.

Praying Mantids, Praying Mantis Pictures, Praying Mantis Facts - National Geog