Oct 8, 2008

When Mantids Attack

A lot of you out there are so bold in your insect and arachnid handling, that you've bolstered my courage in my own Encounters of the Invertebrate Kind. Why, the other day I even picked up a praying mantis, and I responded to my nephew's call when he asked for my help in finding his missing tarantula.

But then I saw this photo from Aydin Örstan (via Cindy), and I'm back to square one. Mantises do bite (at least, they bite the scientists working with them). Thanks for dowsing me with a bucketful of cold reality, Cindy.

20 comments:

Denita TwoDragons said...

NOM NOM NOM!

--TwoDragons

Wendy said...

Hee! Reminds me of a grade school incident where one of the boys thought he'd be clever and pluck a large mantis off the brick wall at recess. "They don't bite!" The mantis promptly chomped him and he actually bled a little from the bite. (This is the same boy who was bit and bled from a garter snake on a field trip...) Sorry, Jeff, where ever you are, you totally deserved both nips!

niner said...

See, this is why I don't touch bugs of any kind. We have these big June-bug flying type things in our apartment and everyone says, "Oh just cup it in your hand and throw it outside".

No. Sorry. Not going to happen. I go cry in the corner and wait for husband guy to get home from work.

As for the photo, you disappoint me, Mr. Mantis. I thought I loved you. This is a sad day indeed.

Liz said...

Whoever that is may want to make a doctor's appt, as I see exploding baby alien mantises out of the tummy in her future ;_;! However, I think mantises (mantii?) are awesome, and I never pick up bigs without thinking it will either bite/spit/poop on me, so I don't pick up a lot of bugs.

Cindy said...

Just wanted to clarify that I did not take that picture, and Snail’s Tales is not my blog! Credit for both those accomplishments belongs to Aydin Örstan.

Raging Wombat said...

Lovely imagery, Liz. Thanks.

Danielle said...

So my first thought as a mantis is chewing off my flesh is not to take a picture. It would be to kill it.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

i used to pick up bugs all the time when i was a kid ... only when i became an adult was i afraid they would bite me. oh to be young again...

Erin said...

I've been seized and/or bitten my mantids before but I love them and handle them anyway. This photo is a great action shot, especially since one can see how the mantis is pushing and pulling the surface of the skin.

Tifferz said...

I have been handling mantids since I was a child; I'm sure I've wrangled hundreds of them, and I have never been bitten by a mantis. In fact, I was under the impression that they didn't bite and really had no defense against humans.

This picture won't stop me from hanging out with mantids!

Flartus said...

It looks to me like Mr. Mantis is working up a sweat, he's chomping so hard.

stormydragon said...

I'd heard that mantids normally only bite people if they're suprised (like if someone grabs them), and that you want to pick one up, you should do so by letting them crawl onto your hand, and then you should be okay.

Yvonne Navarro said...

Huh -- never knew they bite, and I've handled some big ones. Maybe this one was having a bad day. I tried to pick one out of harm's way on a Chicago parking garage floor, but it reared up in fighting stance. Since it was about 4 inches long, I left it alone. Sadly, I don't think that fighting stance was going to help it against car. I still think they're just awesome.

Anonymous said...

'reminds me of the tale of my little sis actually grabbing a bumblebee from a plant where my family (w/o me) was going on a stroll...Well, they are much cuter than most bugs people desire to handle...

Anonymous said...

These are the only bugs Im not afraid of. These and stick bugs. I think its because if you put your hand down near them they just run right on. I love surprising people that way. My boyfriend thinks Im some sort of mantis trainer or something. This is amusing to me because any one who knows me knows that even lady bugs make me want to run the other way. I dont even like butterflies. Look at any insect under a microscope and it will suddenly seem sinsiter. This picture looks so violent and freaky, yet Im still not all that scared of them. What is it about the mantids?

niner said...

Thank you Stormydragon. You have comforted me. *IF* I ever let something crawl on me, that's usually how it happens. I'm not in the habit of just picking something up.

Yes, yes I still love mantids.

Kit said...

Well THAT just made me MORE afraid of their kung fu! They actually have bite to back up their bark. Somehow one flew/climbed up to my third story balcony, and threatened me while I was watering plants... I ran away. Curse you, Mantis!

Nervavels said...

LOL Poor mantis looks like it's having a bad day. I handle mantises and have never been bit. The only bugs I'm afraid of are hornets, wasps, yellowjackts and their ilk. I don't mind spiders (but they are handled carefully) and my favorite creepy crawly I just won't touch but would never kill. I'm going to try to send a picture of this critter, which I call a feather duster, when camera and critter are both in the same space and time....

Vanessa said...

I have handled them a lot and never been bitten either - they are really up there on my list of favourites!
I saw a huge one grab a spider once and take a bite out of him like an apple and chuck him away.
Pretty gruesome, but I still love them.

Anonymous said...

In over 35 years of handling mantids, I've NEVER been bitten by one. I guess it's because I grab them by their enlongated "neck" so that they can't reach around and take a nip. Katydids, though, are another matter. Those things pack one helluva nasty, vicious bite (and they WILL bite unprovoked).