Friday, September 25, 2009

Prey for Piece

There are things you just never, ever in your wildest dreams even think about seeing. One female preying mantis trying to wrest a fellow female mantid's prey out of her "hands" is one of them.

Yes, I've seen the females calmly devour the males when everyone's job is done, and senescence is at hand for both anyhow. That seems like a logical suicide pact. The ultimate consummation of a brief, yet intense love affair. Parting is such sweet sorrow, you know.

What I just chanced to witness was just plain RUDE! Uncouth, heartless aggression at its most blatant.

The green mantis--obviously a female nearing her laying time; note the distended abdomen--caught my eye as she strolled acrossed the weathered boards of the shed. I ran out with the camera, wanting to document this species since I got some good shots of the larger one a couple weeks ago. They are fast and hard to photograph when they are on the move!

As I turned to leave, a tiny motion at the bottom of the wall caught my eye. Another female mantis of the same species, but in the gray color phase, calmly munching on a cricket. Forgetting the first mantis, I started trying to get a good angle on this one. What luck, to catch both color phases at once!

Then to my surprise, the green one appeared and began attacking the gray one, clearly trying to wrest the cricket away for her own dining pleasure! After two fruitless lunges, Green gave up and stepped aside a few paces.

I've got to figure out how to get this camera to take repeat shots, for fast-moving action like this.

1 comment:

Judielaine said...

Thanks for some diverting and fascinating images!