Three Mantises and more

Fall is the time for the large insects in the garden: spiders of course, but in my garden mantises are the star attraction. (Carolina mantis, Stagmomantis carolina) Yesterday I photographed a few of them, starting with this odd-colored one in the front garden:

I believe this is a male, and its color was strange... sort of a brown mustard?


More photos will show it off better...

...especially once it jumped to the castor bean leaf:

So pretty!

This guy was quite active, climbing and jumping around. The strong breeze (that makes this time of year so nice) didn't help when trying to snap photos, but it makes it easier to get close to these creatures because they don't notice you moving as much.

Meanwhile back behind the house I saw this female climbing my bird of paradise:

She seemed to be on a mission, making steady progress toward the house and upward. She was having some trouble getting footing on the large, slippery leaves.

Then I noticed a another one that appeared to have a head start, about 3' (0.9m) above:

It was up in the papyrus, and still wanting to go higher. Here's the whole scene:

You can see the first mantis in the grass at the bottom of the photo, while the other one is on a papyrus stem at the top -- you can't see that one though. It was behind the stem by now, looking for a way up.

It was still climbing:

And made it to the top of the surprisingly tall stem -- surprising because that plant is growing in a 5-gallon bucket that contains no soil, only water. The tallest stem must be 9' (2.7m) tall!

While I was looking at this third mantis, the second one had moved from the bird of paradise onto the grass leaves...

...and moved... a point right in front of my face.

I think she wanted to climb me. I really love having Carolina mantis in my garden!

Looking for more mantises in the garden I found a stick bug, Diapheromera femorata:

It was on the native Hybiscus lasiocarpos, just like one was last year. Coincidence, or is there something about this plant that attracts stick bugs?

Are you finding any cool large insects in your garden?


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Rock rose  – (October 12, 2016 at 12:52 PM)  

Some fine shots of our garden friends. We witnessed the hatching of the egg this spring but have not seen any since then. I did see a stick insect on the wall yesterday. And once witnessed the mating of two stick insects. The female was huge and the male quite tiny. They clung together for hours!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage  – (October 12, 2016 at 6:32 PM)  

Excellent mantis photos! I usually have at least two mantis in each of my zinnia beds. They are the most interesting looking insects. On the zinnias, when I see the mantises, they always seem to be looking right at me. I imagine they must have seen me first. Its fun to take pictures of them. Their faces make them seem much more intelligent than your average bug. They always remind me of one of the aliens on that old TV Show "The Outer Limits". I have had them fly onto me before. I suppose they don't bite, as I have never been bitten by one.

The other day, as my husband left for work, I noticed him pulling to the side of the street, getting out of the car, doing something at the windshield, walking over to the grass curb edge, bending over and putting something down, and then getting back in the car, and driving away.

He told me later that day that he had been rescuing a big praying mantis from off of the windshield, by putting it into the grass. He said he didn't want it to get blown off into traffic once he got to the major road. I've turned my husband into a mantis fan, too.

chavliness  – (October 15, 2016 at 5:19 PM)  

Great shots, I particularly like the dark silhouette of the mantis. I do appreciate your love for those creatures. I never see them in my garden but it could be because I don't look close enough. I do notice the occasional lady bug, which is lovely, but it doesn't have the personality of the mantis.

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