Friday, August 20, 2010

Going Buggy

First it was caterpillars...big, fat, juicy ones.
Then it was skunk encounters, squirrels, possums, raccoons and now...
Praying Mantis.

I never knew there was such a dizzying array of wild life available for inspection right here in our own back yard.  Maybe I could charge admission.

Let me introduce Lucy, the Lady Praying Mantis. 

Some people would call her a "Walking Stick" or a "Grasshopper" but she is not one of those.  She is related to termites and cockroaches and there are 8 different sub-classes in her own species.  Some praying mantis are big enough to eat lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish and even rodents.   The one we see here specializes in insects, although she is prone to cannibalizing her mates.  Lucy makes for good biological pest control in organic gardens. 

Her grasping, spiked forelegs catch and securely hold her prey.  Her articulated head can swivel 300 degrees, giving her a very large range of vision.  With her large compound eyes, which have binocular vision, she doesn't miss much. 

Is this the praying stance, or is she asking us to dance?

Well, it's Friday and If you are over 40, you may have landed here on a blog hop follow.  Welcome, and I hope you come again.  If you are a "Regular Customer", this will be my last post for about a week.  Tomorrow, at long last, we head off on our belated vacation to Maine.  When we get there, we lock the doors at night, keep the dog inside and pretend the bears and cougars can't get in.  Mice and chipmunks are one thing, but great big bears and cougars would give me pause. 

Here's hoping the last days of summer are good to you.  I'll be back......

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