Praying Mantis in action!

September 02, 2015  •  4 Comments

Over time, I have learned to have no expectations about what I might see in our garden. I just go out there with all my senses aware, taking in sights, sounds, fragrances, textures and yesterday, feeling the perspiration beading up quickly on my skin. My weather app said it was 90 but felt like 99. Yep, the humidity had returned with a vengeance. Perfect weather for lots of possibilities!  

 

I caught sight of a butterfly, an Orange Sulphur, on a Black-eyed Susan. It was moving strangely and something didn't seem quite right. Once I focused the camera on it, the reason was obvious!  It had been caught by a Praying Mantis, which had folded the sulphur's wings forward and was making a breakfast sandwich of it!

 

Praying Mantis capturing an Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)Praying Mantis capturing an Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) Praying Mantis eating an Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)Praying Mantis eating an Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) Praying Mantis eating an Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)Praying Mantis eating an Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

 

Wow, predation is efficient!  This is the first time I've been privileged to witness it firsthand by this prehistoric creature.  I left it to its breakfast and found 3 Monarch caterpillars, a female Monarch laying eggs and 2 males nectaring. I came back to the Praying Mantis.  It was just hanging out.  I wondered how it could digest a meal upside down.

 

Praying Mantis on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)Praying Mantis on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

 

There was some creepy music going through my head as I watched it lope along the stem.

 

Praying Mantis on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)Praying Mantis on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

 

And now, what's for lunch?  A skipper appetizer, perhaps?

 

Praying Mantis on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)Praying Mantis on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)


Comments

Hummer Haven UnLtd.
Well, this is graphic but not quite as gruesome as the video I took! ;) Munchies and crunchies...
Brian(non-registered)
What a great way to share an aspect of nature that's fascinating, but not so "cute."
Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening!(non-registered)
A few years back I caught a female mantis late in the season when a freeze was forecast, put her in a jar indoors, and fed her crickets (wild, then from the pet store after the first freeze). She would devour those crickets, starting with whatever body part was closest to her mouth -- which sometimes was the eyes. Amazing and gruesome. Incidentally she produced several egg cases... five if I remember correctly... before dying. I love these creatures!
Hummer Haven UnLtd.
We enjoyed the company of the Kirkwood Garden Club last night. I wasn't sure what we might see together as daylight was waning. We actually saw quite a bit! One lady re-found this praying mantis on a branch of the garden arbor. Two others watched a Monarch pair mating and many of us saw the pair lift away together, up into a tree. I saw one of the Monarch caterpillars on the Marsh Milkweed and showed it to many. The ruby-throats were busy nectaring as well. Life is abundant in our garden and we are grateful that we had this opportunity to share the idea of 'bringing nature home'!
No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July August September October (1) November December
January (3) February (2) March (1) April (3) May (2) June July August September October November December