We captured a praying mantis. Just to take a few images of her because she was so beautiful! She was a little shy at first. But she warmed up to the idea of having her picture taken. And I think she even warmed up to me.
At the end of our photo shoot, I almost lost my head when she struck a perfect pose for me!
One of my favorite things about living in the forest is the wealth of different species of animals and insects that we get the opportunity to see and learn about. I have always been enamored with praying mantises but it has been years since I've seen one in real life. I have a memory of finding one when I was a child in the suburbs. Our house backed onto a wooded area and I found one on our backyard fence. I was too afraid to touch it or go too close because I had heard the story that female praying mantises ate the heads of their mates during copulation. This frightened me a little bit.
I found this nice little article about the praying mantis. It includes some notes about the praying mantis in different cultures' mythology and folklore and also discusses their characteristics and mating habits. It turns out, while sexual cannibalism occurs always in the mating habits of one mantis species (Mantis religiosa), it is very rare with all other mantises and usually happens as a means for survival.
I think our lovely mantis here is in fact a Mantis religiosa! I'm so happy to have had the luck to spend some time with this darling of an insect. John and I suspect that she is pregnant. I wonder if her mate still has his head about him?
♥ Andrea ♥