Thursday, October 28, 2010
Close Encounter with Stagmomantis
These mantids just seem to looooooooove riding indoors on the backs of humans. I was walking out the door on my way to do some work in the office yesterday when I noticed this female Stagmomantis californica that hitchhiked inside on Mr. Cardui's sweatered back. He's lucky she didn't get tangled in that mop of hair. As we exit our vehicle parked on the street we brush against the shrubbery there and most likely that's where the mantis hitched on.
So I gathered her up gently in a big plastic cup for the trip back outside. Outside where there are plenty of twigs and fences and terracotta pots to lay egg cases on. Girl, the time now is to procreate not recreate.
A few days earlier I found another female S. californica in the pencil tree (green only variety of the oh so popular firesticks, both euphorbia tirucalli). This mantis is brownish; the color of this species is various although most if not all males I've seen are brown. She is also very plump and seems ready and able to get going and produce some ootheca.
I never really looked closely at the antenna of these mantids. This last closer-up photo shows off their graceful curvature.