Thursday, September 16


I was watering the lemon tree today when a skinny little praying mantis leapt out from a small dead oak branch. He had a tinge of green on his mostly-beige body, so he was pretty noticeable. But his companion, a much bigger and much fatter missus mantis stayed behind and only moved a little bit, catching my eye. I went to get my camera and came back out to see that the little guy hadn’t moved, but the bigger one had disappeared. Praying mantises aren’t really fast movers when they’re stalking prey, so I figured she hadn’t gone too far. But it took almost ten minutes to finally catch sight of her again, and that was only because I shook the branch to make her move. Her body color so closely matched the oak leaves I was amazed. If it hadn’t been for her spiky front legs, she would be nearly impossible to spot.

In the upper photo her abdomen is the dark spot near dead center.
Here she is just slightly to the right of center.

How do I know she’s a she? First, it’s egg-forming season which would explain her bulging belly. Second, she was so big compared to her companion. Of course, she could be a he who just ate a whole rat.

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