|CHINESE PRAYING MANTIS|
A few days ago I was in my chair looking out the window when I noticed a shadow of some monstrous insect climbing near my window screen. What the heck is that huge thing, I muttered to myself while grabbing my camera and flying out the door. Well, it was something I hadn't seen in a long time --. a very large praying mantis.
Now these guys are not the friendliest insects to handle unless you know what you are doing. My daughter was mildly bit by one a couple years ago when she tried to pick one up to show her daughter. So I wasn't in the mood to move the insect around for different photo shots, So, the above is the only position I captured.
There are three different types of praying mantis that reside in Kentucky all falling under a group called the Matids.I identified mine as a Chinese praying mantis or more correctly -- a Mantid. I will use praying mantis and Chinese Mantid interchangeably.
This Chinese Mantid usually grows 3 to 5 inches long, is an import from about 75 years ago, and is the largest Mantid found in our state. The one I was looking at was about 5 inches! He was brown colored which threw me. I had always thought Matids were green. I got online with a few sources and found that the Chinese praying mantis can be either green or brown.
Fall is the time when Mantids are mating. Now if I was a male I would hesitate to get mixed up with the female for mating purposes. If during copulation the female gets a notion, she swivels her head (which can rotate 180 degrees as can the males) and decapitate the male. Ouch! So much for good sex.
The female lays between 12 and 400 eggs in a hard-case shell lined with frothy juice in the fall. In the spring the juveniles emerge and oftentimes their first meal consists of a few of their siblings. Ouch again.
Overall. the praying mantis is a deadly predator.
An interesting fact about the Chinese praying mantis is it has an ear in its abdomen area that picks up ultra-high frequencies that possibly might help in finding a mate or knowing a predator is nearby. They are the only known animal with only one ear.
A little folklore is known about the Mantids. One, is that the Greeks thought they were prophets and two, the Chinese used them for various medicinal purposes.
A beautiful and intriguing insect but deadly for both beneficial and non-beneficial insects.
To find out other information about the praying mantis I would suggest the following sites:
This is a Sunday Simplicities post reflecting my outlook on life. Now in retirement I am observing new horizons -- opportunities have surfaced. Economies have changed as well as my perspective on what is truly important in my simple life. Stay tuned.