Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Praying mantids

Well, it always pays to do your research.... 

At first, I thought we might have two species of praying mantids in our Wildscape. Honestly, I'd never thought much about it. If I came across one in our yard, I just assumed it was a praying mantis. Dumb me. Mother Nature does makes more than just one kind. The other day, James spotted this robust gal in one of our esperanzas. 

Hmmm, I thought. This gray brownish one looks different from the green ones we've seen...

So I posted to iNaturalist and got to comparing images on Bugguide.net of the two species that have been observed in our region: the Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) and the European mantis (Mantis religiosa).

Praying mantis in our yard August 2015

So what do you think? Do we have two different species?


Okay, I'll end the suspense. We have ONE species, and it's the Carolina mantis. Look at this image, and you'll see how the heads differ. The European mantis has a more triangular-shaped head. 


Can Carolina mantids change colors? Yes! Find out more by watching this cool video about the Carolina mantis by Chris Egnoto. 


(I have no clue why the above paragraphs are in all CAPS. Thanks, Blogger.)


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