Stalking a Praying Mantis
Well, hello there!
A praying mantis, perfectly camouflaged in bushes outside the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California, Davis, was searching for prey when we spotted it. Front legs upraised in a "praying position," head twisting, eyes turning, it waited motionlessly for lunch.
Also called a mantid (order Mantodea), the praying mantis is a favorite of insect photographers. A close-up of the mouth and the "spiky" forelegs (used for grasping prey) make you really appreciate what this insect can do and make you glad you're not another insect.
This one (below) was immature. Tomorrow we'll show you shots of it landing on a human being.
Praying mantis exploring its surroundings at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Acrobatic praying mantis in action. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The last thing the prey of a praying mantis sees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)