Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Bug's Life

Praying Mantis
"People have no tolerance. They think all bugs are bad. It's the American way. If you don't like something, kill it." (Quote by - Carl Olson)

The season most definitely is changing as all of a sudden I am starting to see praying mantis.  I saw one Friday night on the side of a building and then spotted this little beauty on my kitchen window this morning. I am totally fascinated with them.

Normally, I don't care too much about bugs but to call a praying mantis a bug doesn't seem quite right. They are gentle and very alien looking. They don't move very fast and I can't even imagine how my heart would feel if I killed one. Once you have been up close to a mantis, you will know exactly what I mean. They can turn their heads 300 degrees, according to Wikipedia. They are cannibals and have been known to prey on small scorpions, lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, and even rodents. They don't move very fast, which makes watching them not quite so scary.

It's hard to believe I have lived this long and never seen one before I moved to Washington. Luckily, I've been educated about them so I wasn't freaking out when I saw my first one last year. I feel lucky that this one graced me with its presence this morning long enough for me to snap a photo. 

 I snapped a photo in front of an empty container to give you an idea how large they are.

Have you ever seen a praying mantis before? 


  1. Your attitude warms my heart. I grew up with the green alien-looking beauties. They look so inquisitive, don't you think?

    I caught a grasshopper the other day. My motto: Photograph and release. It's the same with snakes. People see one and want to kill it.

    Remember daddy longlegs? They used to be as common as flies in Texas. I haven't seen one since the 70s. We are losing these gems to pesticides, slowly but surely.

    Thanks, too, for a lovely post. You helped improve an already near-stellar day. :)

  2. Update: We just got home and I saw something flying near my house and thought it was a dragonfly. Turns out it was another praying mantis. This one was cream colored and when it landed on my neighbor's car, it started hissing. My cat immediately ran across the road to check it out. The world has such wonder if we stop to look!

    P.S. I like Limner's motto: Photograph and release!!

  3. I don't think I've seen this bug before.. But it really is alien looking :) My husband would love it :D

  4. I had never seen one hiss until the other night.. that was something, I mean it would not back down, just reared up spread it's wings in attempt to give the largest frontal appearance, and let out this unmistakable hissing sound that I had never heard before. What interesting creatures they are.

  5. Susan, I can see my biology lesson was not retained!! It's one of those things to me like when someone gets their directions off...and say "down there" when referring to a trip to Anchorage!! hahaha I just can't refrain from corrrecting them.

    Tell Limner daddy long legs are alive and well populated in Alaska! I despise those things....


  6. My Sister in law loved praying mantises (is that the plural?) Anyway... she loved them, but didn't see them very often. Whenever she did see them, she'd get so excited. Especially when they were in her garden.

    Three years ago, she passed away from breast cancer. For the entire week following her passing, my brother (her husband) saw a praying mantis EVERY SINGLE DAY! He saw one in the garden, one was actually on the hood of his car, he saw one at work, etc. We both believe it was Lisa saying hello.

  7. @ Susan ~ thank you for sharing your story. Don't you love those "signs" we get??


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