Tuesday 28 April 2015

The Praying Mantis Perseveres

During several days of damp, gloomy weather the flies remained in hiding and the praying mantis did not eat. She was visibly thinner until two warm days brought the big flies out. Since then it has been raining. This afternoon when the rain had stopped I saw her lying flat on her leaf, instead of standing with the front part of her body upright. I took a couple of shots of her and when I looked at the enlarged images I saw the reason for her odd behaviour.    (Click on the photo to enlarge)

The praying mantis is lying flat peering at a tiny fly on the leaf below

A moment later she has it between her two front legs. The fly's little round head can be seen to the right of the cyan colour patch on her inner thigh

I don't know what chance she has of a mate finding her. For the last three months I have seen only one other mantis, a male. He had lost one of his great front legs, which would reduce his ability to survive. Usually at this time I would expect to know the whereabouts of 5 or 6, both male and female.

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