Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mantis Love

Persistence pays off....
3 hours in the meadow following a female praying mantis was worth being bitten by ants.
Here is how it took place....
The last few days I have been visiting the meadow in hopes of capturing a mating pair of praying mantis. Today was my lucky day...I spotted this large female on the hunt for food. (See images below) So I carefully set up my tripod at ground level. Every move I made she would stare at me. I moved slowly and was able to get close, but not to close. I started shooting and waiting for an insect to become pray, but nothing happened. I followed her along the ground for over an hour. About two and a half hours into my crawling on the ground. I suddenly started to get bit by ants. I moved away and brushed them off. As I was doing so I noticed a male mantis looking at me from a higher perch. So I slowly moved my tripod and took a few shots. No sooner had I took the shots...then this male flew down to the ground close to the female. I was in luck would I get my wish and witness a mating pair. I was able to get one shot, before he jumped on her and it begun. I moved in as close as I could without disturbing them. Frame after frame I fired away. She moved slowly into the tall thick grasses where I was unable to get anymore shots. I watched them for another 15 minutes and moved on. I was happy...very happy. This male will have a slim chance of surviving. The female will have him for dinner. Pregnant females need protein and since the male is the closest food source she will eat him. There is that slim chance he will get away, but most never make it.

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