Friday, September 07, 2007
Early this summer I saw a few young mantids. So I'm thinking, OK, it would be logical that these young ones are the offspring of some of the Tenodera aridifolia sinensis that hatched all over the kitchen table and up the walls in June 2006. However, these 2007 editions were distinctly striped and mottled dark and light brown and even yellow/gold, not looking a whole lot like those dull green Chinese mantid nymphs which are so last year. A strangely elusive lot for such fierce predators, I hadn't seen exoskeleton or antennae of any sort of mantid until recently when I saw this near-adult on the buddleia. These buddleia were planted in June, and just possibly the mantid came free with the plants and is not one of the dark/light brown even yellow/gold mottled/striped ones of May. I swear, I'm gonna start tagging this critters with little teensy implants and clear up all these fuzzy ID questions. Maybe, though, this is California mantis, Stagmomantis californica. and it is one of the little ones that occurred more or less naturally in the yard, all grown up. Sadly I can't find any photos of S. californica nymphs to compare. Hmmm.