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Archive for September 13, 2012

Praying Mantis

Between being able to swivel its head nearly 180 degrees, and having two large compound eyes and three simple eyes, the Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) misses very few insects within reach.  Due to its green or brown coloration, the Praying Mantis is well camouflaged as it lies in ambush or stalks its prey.  Spines, tooth-like tubercles and a claw near the tip of each foreleg enable this predator to have a secure grasp on the moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects it consumes.  (A Praying Mantis in Pennsylvania was photographed successfully capturing a Ruby-throated Hummingbird!)  The pictured female is heavy with hundreds of eggs she will soon lay in a foam case she whips up.