Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Remember Science days and

Praying Mantis on Vine Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891) 19th century Full-color woodblock print, ink on paper Pacific Asia Museum Collection ...




Kingdom, Phylum, Class and Order? ~~~~ Animalia
~ Arthropoda
~ Insecta
The Chinese mantis is one of the praying mantids, so called because their forelegs are habitually folded together in a fancied attitude of prayer. "Preying mantis" would be a better term, however, since these forelegs are efficient "meat hooks” for securing a "half-nelson" on unwary insect prey, after which the victim is calmly devoured much as a boy eats a banana.Edward S. Thomas, Insect Life Stories, 1940.
~~ The word mantis derives from the Greek word mantis for prophet or fortune teller. The preferred pluralization is mantids,[1] though there is some usage of mantes or mantises.


Several years ago in a Garden Center close to our home this astounding event happened. I remember our youngest daugter telling the tale. A praying mantic captured and ate a
The mantis is the only insect that can turn its head all the way around (180E) and look over its shoulder for predators. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Mantids are normally seen in late September and early October. Around this time, females are full of eggs and search for males with which to mate. Females often bite the head off the males after mating and may or may not eat him entirely. This happens between 5 - 31% of the time. Females lay a mass of eggs, an inch or so long, in a frothy, sticky substance that is glued to plant twigs or stems. A few weeks later, the female dies. The eggs, sometimes up to 1,000, do not hatch until late spring. These nymphs look like very tiny adults but without wings. They slowly develop, molting six to seven times, until they mature in August.
A widespread MYTH ~~~ It is not illegal ~~~ check out SNOPES!


Alyssa said...

Excellent photos! I have never seen a praying mantis in the wild. You are SO lucky. Very beautiful woodblock print and interesting background on the mantis or is it mantises?? (plural)

DeeMom said...

Thanks Alyssa, I too thought the woodblock print was especially delicate.

Ki said...

Great mantid photos. Yep I've seen them turn their heads so the chin, if insects have chins, was at the top.

DeeMom said...

Thanks KI