The resident praying mantis in the backyard waiting for its next meal.
There is something completely fascinating about this alien-like insect. We were fortunate to have this one almost live its entire life in one particular pot of plants I had put together in early summer. Even more amazing was that I happened to find two of its molts (shedded skin) from what I am assuming was from this particular praying mantis. I cannot be certain, but I also have not seen any other mantises in the garden.
I was excited to see where in the potted plants the mantis was on a given day. Intrigued and somewhat appalled when the mantis captured a bee and proceeded to slowly eat it.
For maybe 3 months, this mantis had a captive audience — me. Then one day it decided to move to the Japanese maple a few feet away, occasionally descending down the hummingbird feeder to maybe capture another bee meal. And then a couple of weeks later, it was gone and I have not seen it again. On average, praying mantises live 4-12 months, depending on species. I can only hope it has contributed to its species’ life-cycle resulting in a new batch of baby mantises next spring.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec
Cameron Park (CA), Praying Mantis, Yellow Flower, Shallow DOF. Cameron Park, CA. August 18, 2016. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.