Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Creature Lies Within?

Can You See Me?

 Look a little closer...

Can you see me now?

I'm a master of disguise.

I'm looking right back at you!

You think I look odd! 
You should see what I'm seeing...
you are very strange indeed.

Let me introduce myself.  
Maybe then you'll stop staring at me.

"Praying Mantis" is my name.

I am quite clever at disguising myself among the leaves. 
I adapt my colors to blend 
in with the plants I live near.

I am carnivorous. 
I eat insects and small animals 
such as frogs, lizards and even small birds.  

I have two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes between them.
I can swivel my head on my long neck 180° to spot potential prey.
My front legs have rows of spines that I use to hold my prey
which I usually begin to eat head first.
I wait very patiently for my prey,
sitting very still until one comes close.
Then I strike very quickly... in less than one twentieth of a second.

I am a female and will soon be laying my eggs.
I will lay about 200 eggs in a frothy substance that will soon harden.
The eggs will hatch in the Spring.

You may enjoy having me in your garden.
Just stay your distance from me, I'm not very friendly.


  1. Oh, now that's an up close and personal look at a bug I have never seen in my garden! Excellent photography and you make her seem almost 'human' with your narrative, lol. I really enjoyed this post!

  2. Bravo, for this beautiful post.
    And you took great pictures.
    Have a great day.

  3. Great photo!
    the last one is my favorite, it looks like it was posing for the camera

  4. Really nice pictures but I do not really like the praying mantis in real!
    Are they helpfull? In that case I would like them better!

  5. I love seeing praying mantis! We saw some recently.

  6. I just saw one in my garden over the weekend and was overjoyed - they are very good bugs to have in the garden.

  7. Great shots,sorry they give me the creeps.
    Maybe because one got stuck in my hair when I was little.:(
    Good info...never knew they were carnivores.

  8. I do find the praying mantis beautiful, and they are always so captivated by the antics of the camera lens. Love their facial expressions! Have you noticed how fearless they are? Definitely the apex predator of the insect world. Having said that... I call this morbid beast the "Butterfly Murderer." Here at PITV, the mantises dangle from branches on the crinums, lantana, and duranta, waiting ever so patiently for their favorite prey...which is beautiful butterflies and this garden anyway. I wish they'd partake of grasshopper instead....

  9. What wonderful macro pictures of the mantis. They are good at blending in. They are fascinating to look at but they do tend to make me cringe a little. LOL!

  10. Fantastic photos - they are very interesting to look at!

  11. What great photos. I can never find them, yet they are there. They are masters of disguise. I always see them after I disturbed them, then they are gone. Too late for a photo shoot. I am glad you are so observant and patient. These images are priceless, just like your wonderful hummingbird photos.

  12. You know, in the first shot, I didn't see the Praying Mantis at all. But then my eyes shifted and I saw her! What a beauty and how great these photos are! Very clever and unique way of posting too. I really enjoyed this post (and my 5 year old did too!)

  13. Great pictures of the praying mantis. I was telling my mom about the one I had in my garden awhile back and she said she'd seen some about 8 inches long in Bolivia. Wow, can you imagine that?

  14. Oh! I enjoy this post very much. Wonderful close-up shots!!! It looks really big and your story of it eating toads and birds just make it look even bigger and scarier.

  15. what a great photo journaling! :D

  16. Wow...your photography is amazing! Malia and I both enjoyed this post. She's a bug girl and particularly enjoyed it. I think she'll be spending lots of time on your site now after seeing the links within pictures at the end of the post with all the other bug posts.


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