Sunday, October 30, 2016

Preying Mantises!

 Today was a spectacular day on the Eastern Shore - sunny, high 60's with a steady breeze.  In other words a perfect fall Sunday.  What made it even more perfect was a swarm of Prey Mantises in the yard.

Here's one on the deck...
 and in the bushes, a second,
 a third,
 a fourth,
a fifth,
 and a sixth!  All spotted in 15 minutes and within 20 feet of each other.  It is mating season so they do tend to congregate. These were all mature specimens averaging about 6 inches in length.

I've always been fascinated by these stealthy hunters and have cultivated them in the garden as they are great at controlling pets

 Just how good are they at controlling pests.  Here's another shot of the first one just after she nabbed a horse fly.
A tasty morsel if ever there was one.  One of the reasons we don't use chemical pesticides on out yard or vegetable garden is to make sure we don't kill off the mantis population.


Guidowg said...

Alien invasion!!

Paul O'G said...

I love these guys too

Brian said...

We've also had a wave of Mantises, but interestingly, while yours are all green, just over the Blue Ridge here in Winchester ours are all a brown colored species that appear to be slightly smaller than yours.

We also avoid pesticides to avoid killing these guys (among others), but there is not much we can do to prevent Mantis death from the snapping jaws of Ziva the Boxer