The Spent Leaf

It was too humid to do any more weeding in the garden, so I decided that trimming the spent Dahlias would be my last task before walking down the gravel road to get the mail and the paper. 

Noticing the almost entirely spent leaf on the lower, outer edge of the plant first, I immediately headed toward it thinking IT would be my first victim.  Reaching down with the small clippers, I leaned in to snip the leaf...until I saw the not so small creature whose leg was draped across the spent leaf.

YIKES!  HOLY PRAYING MANTISES!!  Hoping that I could get my camera before it moved, I headed into the house.  When I returned, it was still sitting on the leaf enjoying the sunshine...just turning it's triangular head and popping it's green alien-like eyes at me.  Forgetting all about clipping the Dahlias, I focused on the creature and watched it slowly unfurl.

Over all my years of gardening, I've heard a few things about Praying Mantises yet did not know:
  • their egg sack can contain 100-200 eggs
  • they are agile like cats
  • they make swift work of their prey
  • they disrupt the food chain
  • they only eat live food
  • they have very long "arms"
  • they stalk hummingbirds...:(
  • their predators include frogs, birds, spiders and lizards
  • "Mama mantises lay an especially large bunch of eggs, which means they need a lot of food. Which means, unfortunately for their partners, they may literally bite off their head and devour them. And they may even do this during the course of their three-hour mating session".

just seeing, saying, and sharing...

The Spent Leaf

with you and those


eileeninmd said…

Neat sighting of the Praying Mantis. They lay a lot of eggs, wow!
Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead!
Gayle said…
stalk hummingbirds and agile like a cat---who knew. Great captures.
Debby said…
Fascinating creatures!
Ann said…
Those are some fascinating facts. I didn't know any of that
Oh what wonderful facts about praying mantises. They only eat living food... lots of health food advocates are in favor of humans doing the same thing... but not in the way praying mantises do it. *haha* Love, Andrea xoxo
They are fascinating creatures to be sure. I had one on my hand just the other day.
Thanks for all the mantis information, JP. I can recall seeing more in my much younger days than now. I was always fascinated by them and appreciated that they devoured other insects, which I didn’t like, especially antis.

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