Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our animal friends: Praying Mantis

I just saw a praying mantis in the back yard. This is by far the coolest critter to visit our garden so far.

This is exciting for several reasons. First, I've never seen a praying mantis "in the wild." That is, not in a terrarium or a garden center refrigerator, next to plastic cups full of ladybugs. Second, praying mantises are just generally badass, what with the spiky hands and the super vision and the postcoital cannibalism. Third, they're voracious predators. And I'm a big fan of anything that eats the bugs that eat my garden.

I was watering the strawberry bed and then there she was, climbing out of the plants. I ran for the camera and came back to find her in no particular hurry. She made her way over to the edge of the garden bed, climbed onto some nearby grass, and hung out, licking her paws. Or whatever you call the spikey things at the end of her arms.

Tarsus. Thanks, Wikimedia Commons.

Anyone else seen praying mantises in their gardens?