Sunday 19 April 2015

Praying Mantis and Prey

The praying mantis I have been observing for several weeks caught and consumed two drone flies this morning. Recent cold weather means that she was unable to catch her food and her swelling abdomen had grown quite slim. Drone flies are bigger than blowflies and they will help fatten her up again.

New Zealand praying mantis, Orthodera novaezealandiae.

This was her first drone, almost finished. Note the dewdrops under her shadow, showing how she remains in one place without moving for long periods.

Here she is eating the second drone, with her leaf littered with unwanted fragments of both insects.

Note her jaw-like forelegs. One grips the body of the fly while the other has just lifted a piece to her mouth. The bright coloured spots on her inner thighs distinguish this New Zealand species from a similar Australian one.

Enjoying her meal.

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