Do you see her? She is lime green and blends in perfectly with the bush she rests upon. I found her by following the sound of winged distress. An urgent flapping outdoors alerted me that a bird of some type was in crisis. I peered into the bush where the noise emanated from and saw a gigantic praying mantis in the midst of devouring a cicada. Surprised, I jumped back and in doing so interrupted the feast. The cicada fell to the ground and the mantis moved to a new branch. She’s a beauty, lime green, very large, and burdened with a swollen abdomen that predicts she will soon produce an egg case.
I gently took her indoors to show my cat. He is a scaredy-cat so I knew the mantis was not in jeopardy.
Just as I thought, the encounter was a stand-off, but I did get to see a sight unique to me; the mantis unfurled her wings and put on a very good display of aggression. She took on the stance of a boxer, ready to bop the inquisitive nose of Hans.
I’m torn now over having these amazing creatures living in my gardens. In the past, I delighted in finding one or more egg cases in my yard, but Praying Mantis are voracious insects; I’ve even heard horrible rumors that they can capture hummingbirds. I let her go back into the gardens, far away from any nectar-producing plants the hummers visit.
The mantis is part of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge/Lime or Light Green.