Sep 25, 2008

Mantis at Midday

Vincent encountered this Chinese praying mantis in Lexington, Kentucky, US, out of season, at midday, and out in the open. Vincent, I can only assume that this 'insect' was accidentally left behind by the mothership, and you interrupted its attempt to be reunited with its starshipmates (a la E.T.).

The Chinese praying mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensi) is one of the largest of the mantids. They have unusually large thoracic segments, which allows them to rotate to follow its prey without actually having to move its whole body. In fact, praying mantises are the only insects that can turn 180 degrees at the 'waist.' They are also the only insects that can read minds and travel through astral wormholes.

Thanks, Vincent.


12 comments:

Cindy said...

As a lifelong praying mantis enthusiast, I would like to point out that mantids are not quite out of season yet. In fact, mature adult mantids are often most visible in late summer and early fall, as they venture out from the relative obscurity of trees and shrubs to seek out mates and good places to lay their eggs. In doing this, they often become distracted by, and attracted to, things like illuminated windows and porch lights.

Zanna said...

Ooh, I don't think the mantis is an ugly overload at all, they're *beautiful*. Look at the colors on their wings as seen in a threat display;
http://www.martin.chaerilus.co.uk/photogallery/Originals/Mantis/Pseudempusa_pinnapovis.JPG

niner said...

Yay! A mantis photo! Isn't it adorable?!

LS said...

This was interesting info including the comments. It is nice to have information about all of nature's creatures.

Wendy said...

Ooh! I just took pics of one of these beauties Wed. whilst mowing. I startled it, and it flew into my blackberries. I had to stop the mower and grab the camera, of course. I just love them.

rachel said...

i am always disconcerted when a mantis turns to look at me...

Anonymous said...

Do they bite? I've always been afraid to pick them up for fear that their razor sharp talons would pierce my skin and sever my fingers in one swift blow.

Cindy said...

They don't usually bite. But there are exceptions.

Tom said...

I saw one of these sitting over my front door near Cleveland, OH--the link is to my photoblog.

http://mpxl.blogspot.com/2008/09/18-sep.html

Nonexistant Black Feather said...

"From whence arrived the praying mantis?
From outer space, or lost Atlantis?
I glimpse the grim, green metal mug
that masks the pseudo-saintly bug,
Orthopterous, also carnivorous,
And faintly whisper, Lord deliver us."
-Ogden Nash

We sang an adaptation of this poem in choir one year. Along with his poems "The Bat" and "The Llama." It kicked butt, even if it was hard to sing (it had some really strange harmonies in it, especially the Praying Mantis.

Raging Wombat said...

I love it, feather! You must have had a creative choir director.

Maximus Doom said...

Ok...I dont think I will ever be this close to a Mantis! They freak me out....those beadie eyes and praying for death arms. Great pics. The mantis is such a mysterious earth bug.