Paranoid Praying Mantis

Wary Praying Mantis

For whatever reason, the praying mantis have been out in force in the last week. We found three yesterday without really looking.

At this time of the year, the mantis are near the end of their life and, thus, are of maximum size.

They also tend to be completely unafraid of anything and will often be seen walking out in the open.

This mantis was found on the windshield of a car. We moved it to the bamboo and I took the opportunity to get some photos.

The mantis didn’t care much, but it certainly did keep one eye pointed directly at the lens of my camera the entire time.

Praying Mantis Preening a Leg

After a while, it decided to preen itself.

Only the one side and always with that rather deadly [to bugs, anyway] front claw/leg held in a provocative fashion.

Funny, too, because it only cleaned the the legs on the side facing me. Given that both eyes move independently and over quite a wide range, I have no doubt that it could have cleaned the other side without taking an eye off me.

Of course, it would have had a much more difficult time showing me that claw thing.

7 Responses to “Paranoid Praying Mantis”

  1. Ron C says:

    We live in northern Virginia where several years ago on a sunny summer afternoon I noticed a commotion in our back yard. I went over to see what was happening. There on the lawn a large praying mantis was doing battle with a male cardinal. There were feathers every where. That mantis cleaned his clock and shortly the bird took a hike!

  2. annbb says:

    My favorite bug creature!

  3. Jiva D says:

    I *think* the black spot is actually a refraction of the light caused by the cells of the compound eye. I don’t think it’s actually moving it to watch you. That said, I’m told they do in fact have excellent vision and will turn their heads to look at you from quite a distance.

    Cool critters!

  4. Convert says:

    Where are you located?, because over here in Brisbane > Queensland > Australia it’s the same. I have noticed some more than usually these stick insects in our garden on the trees. It’s quite a wet weather at the moment so I wondered if that was a reason why there were so many of them around. These eat flash of other insects, people perhaps wouldn’t even know, I saw one of them was holding and eating a common fly.

  5. Door says:

    Like Jiva said if it has compound eyes, the entire ball, the huge thing can see. Its got so many tiny eyes, like in cockroaches. In cockroaches, it is not very clear to the human eye; but here the pic is so clear. Are these mantis dangerous? I mean do they attack or bite human beings?

  6. annbb says:

    From a really cool website I just found (see below), is some of the info there:

    Mantids have triangular heads with large compound eyes and three simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangular arrangement between the antennae…The compound eyes themselves are a work of art – their faceted nature always presents the appearance of a black pupil pointed directly at you. It is such a convincing optical illusion that it was only recently that I even took note of it and made myself think about the fact that mantids do not have eyeballs or pupils. In addition to this curious feature, the entire surface of the eyes change color according to the amount of ambient light – they are light green or tan in sunlight, and chocolate brown at twilight or in low light conditions.

  7. Clinical Research Outsourcing says:

    Am seeing the praying mantis bug for the first time ,and that small black dot is the eye..! to be honest am quiet scared of bugs..!

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