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Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Mantis in the John

Mr Cardui calls from the direction of the john: "Hey come look at this." His voice lilts with a note of excitement, echoing slightly around the tiled room.

Little does he know, though, that I had seen the little fellow already. The mantis, that is, was brought to my attention earlier that gardening day by my bright-eyed offspring as it clung to the bathroom ceiling. The little Stagmomantis californica nymph must have climbed onto my clothes while I was out back doing gardening stuff, then hopped off, unnoticed by me while I freshened up, to spend its day searching for bugs to eat in the confines of a private convenience.

After taking a few pictures of the mantis posing on the faucet I captured it in a tupperware container and took it outside where it belongs. It moved away quickly, climbing up then down the cedar fence, encountering some spider web along the way but eventually disappearing into the mound of wisteria leaves at the top of the fence.

This is an especially handsome specimen with olive greenish and tan markings and brightly striped forelegs. Good hunting, little buddy.


Robert A Vollrath said...

love little manti. thanks for the photos

Anonymous said...

some years ago i found little boys throwing rocks at a VERY BIG mantis on a shrub. i picked it up, saying "these are good helpful bugs and they won't hurt you." all the while the mantis was biting my finger very painfully but i kept a straight face and let it go asap. lesson learned- by me!