mantis catches wasp
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Kingdom - Animal
Phylum - Arthropoda
Class - Insecta
Order - Dictyoptera
Family - Mantidae
Genus - Stagomantis
Species - carolina
What is a Praying Mantis? The praying mantids, or praying mantises, are carnivorous insects that belong to the family.
Praying mantises are about 2/5-12 inches according to species. Their colors vary, ranging from light greens to pinks. Most mantids are pea green or brown. The tropical flower mantises, which resemble flowers, are usually light colors such as pink. Flower mantises, from Africa or the Far East, so closely resemble flowers that insects will often land on them to get nectar.
Nearly 2,000 species of mantids are widely distributed throughout tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate areas of the world. Different species live in many parts of countries such as North and South America, South Africa, Europe, the Southern parts of Asia and some parts of Australia. Praying mantids in North America are usually green or brown. There are three main types of mantids in Eastern United States: the European mantid (Mantis religiosa), Carolina mantid (Stagmomantis carolina) and Chinese mantid (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis).
The praying mantis is a carnivorous insect that takes up a deceptively humble posture when it is searching for food. When at rest, the mantis' front forelegs are held up together in a posture that looks like its praying. These front legs are equipped with rows of sharp spines used to grasp its prey. They wait unmoving and are almost invisible on a leaf or a stem, ready to catch any insect that passes. When potential prey comes close enough, the mantis thrusts its pincher-like forelegs forward to catch it. The prey probably won't escape because the forelegs are so strong and armed with overlapping spines. The mantid bites the neck of its prey to paralyze it and begins to devour it. The mantis almost always starts eating the insect while it's still alive, and almost always starts eating from the insect's neck. This way, the mantis makes sure that the insect's struggle stops quickly. Praying mantises eat insects and other invertebrates such as other mantises, beetles, butterflies, spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and even spiders. The praying mantises also eat vertebrates such as small tree frogs, lizards, mice and hummingbirds. Praying mantids can resemble flowers and can catch small, unknowing hummingbirds. Praying mantids also eat other nesting birds.
BENEFICIAL OR NOT?
Most often people think mantises are pests. That is only partly true. They can be beneficial, too. Praying mantises are terrific pest exterminators. They keep down the population of bugs that are a threat to farming. A master of disguise, the praying mantis can be an able assistant to farmer and gardener. Look carefully in your backyard. Perhaps that deceptive shape is a praying mantis poised for his next meal.
extramundi, Luc, ellis49, roconnell, JeanMichel, ljsugarnspice, Andrieux has marked this note useful
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Sharp and detailed, but it's kind of hard to tell what the mantis is doing from the picture alone. Perhaps taking the shot from a different angle would have worked, and would ahve provided a very interesting and striking shot.
Miles have just said what I think of this photo, nevertheless I think this lighting and details needs 2 points. (And the note too). Gretings.
Very nice Bob.
Good sharpness and colours, but I agree with Miles what he say. Very good note.
Fantastic backlight into a world few venture to notice. Growing up not far from a farming area, praying mantis were held in high esteem. There was a 50$ fine is one was caught purposefully exterminating them. Beautiful detail. Well done.
- [2004-12-02 0:50]
Fantastic note and the lighting and detail is excellent. Unfortunately nature does not always give us the best angles, but I still like the shot. Very well done
Thanks for posting
Great shot, very sharp. the spot light on top is a bit disturbing.
This is really good, Bob. I never had a chance to catch one of these in action. Wings texture and head details are spot on the forearm shows the action of imprisoning vey well. Great colors. IMO, this scene would have gained legibility with less distracting elements around, but, I guess that' where this action was. Perhaps other angles with a close up on the head was worth trying.
Very sharp and very interesting... Good job!
Imagine on giant of this one. she was gonna eat us all. Alive...
Very good picture. Congrats.