|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|My neighbor told me one day that she had a green praying mantis in her yard, so I went over a couple of days later to find it and photograph it. I didn't find a green mantis, but instead found this large tan/brown colored one.|
Mantises are commonly found in meadows, gardens, and clearings. They are ideal inhabitants of rose and vegetable gardens, for they voraciously devour aphids, leafhoppers, mites, flies, and grasshoppers.
Because of its hunting ferocity, the praying mantis has been dubbed "the dragon of the insect world." An adult mantis will attack moths, butterflies, horseflies, beetles and other mantises. They have been known to attack animals larger than themselves, including frogs, lizards, and small birds.
The mantis hunts mostly by selecting a promising location and waiting motionless for unsuspecting prey to come within striking range. Its varied coloration enables the mantis to sit unnoticed on twigs and stems. Its coloration usually reflects dominant colors of the vegetation in its habitat. Mantises tend to be green in areas of grasses and leafy weeds, and brown in woody areas.
Sometimes a mantis will pursue prey by creeping to within striking range. Although the stalk is stealthy, the attack is incredibly rapid. The mantis starts eating the captured insect alive and almost always starts at the neck to quickly stop any struggle to escape.
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