Praying mantis visit

Praying mantis

It came with the greens. A praying mantis perched on the edge of a lettuce mix harvest basket and took the ride in. Kool kat, with a wraparound look. Friendly, too, if insects can be, calm at least, let it walk on my hand to transfer it to a fence post. Don’t see them often, so I looked ‘em up and…yikes! “Sexual cannibalism is common among mantises in captivity, and under some circumstances may also be observed in the field. The female may begin feeding by biting off the male’s head (as they do with regular prey), and if mating has begun, the male’s movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm.” Kinky and kinda brutal. But reading on, it seems this behavior may be induced by the distractions of being constantly observed in the lab, and not a normal practice. There we go again, messin’ with stuff. Well, this one got away. In the wild, it’s considered a beneficial insect for the veg patch, a massive hunter that eats “most pest insects, mites, eggs, or any insect in reach.” Nice. And it’s apparently the only insect to hunt moths at night, and the only one fast enough to catch flies and mosquitoes. Go, mantis!

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One Response to “Praying mantis visit”

  1. Meredith says:

    Awww I love those little guys! I saw five of them in one day on my walk home from school a few years ago, it was amazing!

  2. David says:

    Saving one from a town sidewalk…..bit me really hard on the hand.

    • Mike (tfb) says:

      Yeah, apparently they can nip but it rarely happens, and no real harm, no toxic injections or anything like that. What would be really worrisome is running into one your size! :)

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