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Friday, December 16, 2011


This beautifully colored California mantis, Stagmomantis californica, was prowling along the top of my old hall tree in the low angle winter sunshine the other day.

Apparently she had left this ootheca in a convenient 90 degree angle on the piece of furniture that I guess will remain unfinished until spring when the baby mantises hatch.

These mantises come in a nice array of colors.  In addition to the golden green one on the hall tree, through the summer I found:

a bone white one that grew up on adenium stems of nearly the same color;

a bright green juvenile with red patches
climbing an old wooden slot-spoon hanging on a rebar stake;

and a reddish brown one with beautiful markings that grew up among the dark red rudbeckias.  I happened to stop by one summer day when this one had just finished molting.  Then she stalked away down the hairy daisy stem leaving her exoskeleton behind hanging from the Cherry Brandy blooms.

Ah, summer I miss you now.

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