Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Praying Mantis

We had another visitor in our garden a few days ago... a praying mantis! I don't see these very often around here, and this one sure was doing a good job of blending into the grass.

here he is again, sitting on my gladiola

I love this shot, because he looks like he is posing for the camera

and this is the full version, just sitting on a leaf

Here are a few neat facts about the praying mantis from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Where does it live?
on vegetation in warm, wooded areas or prairies

What does it eat?
The praying mantis is carnivorous, eating all types of insects, including other mantises.

What adaptations does the praying mantis have that help it survive?
Praying mantises have spikes that cover their front legs and are used to help capture and eat prey. The mantis’ green or brown color acts as camouflage and helps it blend into the environment.

It is the only insect that can turn its head all the way around (180 degrees) and look over its shoulder for predators.

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