Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Praying Mantis

Insects will never really be my first love (or probably even in the top ten) but I have come to enjoy seeing and photographing them and trying to identify them. Even with a wasp, hornet or cockroach my first objective (unless they are being distinctly troublesome) is to see if I can identify them before dispatching them to their collective soul in the sky (or probably in the bowels of the earth). My latest sighting was, to me quite exciting. It was a male African Praying Mantis (Miomantis caffra - family Mantidae) on the window. They are a recent introduction (1978) to New Zealand and are now spreading down the North Island. They can survive the winter giving them an advantage over the indigenous species which generally does not. The female cannot fly and often eats the male during (!!) or after mating. The native species female can fly and rarely eats the male at any time!

1 comment:

  1. I love the photos - jealous as ever! Not jealous of the Praying Mantis itself - at least in Homo sapiens the female waits until after the mating before eating the male.