Monday, December 10, 2007

My fierce killer friend...and she was supposed to be praying.

Macro and close up photography can be rewarding. You can see details that you would normally not perceive in everyday life. Here is a series of close up photographs of a brave Praying Mantis.
Imagine if it was six foot tall!

Praying Mantis, (also often called preying Mantis because of the carnivorous way they eat their prey) are abundant in Southern California. They reason they are called Praying Mantis is apparently because of their “prayer-like” stance. The one pictured here wasn't praying and I'm sure she would have like to eat me. Don't they look like space aliens?
Her mouth was too small to bite my finger.
They eat their victims while they are still alive and start by eating the neck first so that they can’t move. Given their sizes or at least the size of this one, they can’t bite humans for their mouths are too small; lucky us. Lucky us for another reason as well. After mating, the female often eats her mate. That’s a real high high price for having sex, don’t you think?
I think she's smiling, or is she flirting with me?

The Praying Mantis pictured in this post was taken with my Pentax K10D. Most pictures were taken with the 18-55mm kit lens, some with a close-up filter. The females are green and the males are brown. Obviously, this was a female. She wasn’t scared of me at all. I could hear her hissing and she made herself look bigger by spreading her wings and taking an attack position. She was rocking back and forth, I guess with the hope of scaring me, but to no avail. I have since caught many more of them but none ever expanded their wings like this brave little soul pictured herein.
Hey big boy...you come and see me sometimes.

We have to give her an "A +" for bravery. I also read that the females often expand their wings to attract males for you-know-what (doing whoopy". Maybe she found me attractive, or saw a big meal in me, but, lucky me…I'm human.

Am I scaring you yet?

Don't you play with my antennas.

Thank you for reading,

P.S. For more Preying Mantis blog post, see the Sex life of a Preying Mantis here.

Yvon Bourque

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