Project Green Thumbs: If praying mantises could talk…

… They would say “Go away, stalker!”

So I’ve had a little mantis obsession in my garden this summer…

It started with teeny tiny creatures like this:

Barely there, this critter favored cucumber leaves.
Itty bitty tomato dweller.

 

The tiniest I saw… for reference that big white perlite blob to the left is maybe 1/4 inch wide.

And all of a sudden, ended up with full-grown “giants” like this…

Most hung out in leafy green areas.

 

But this guy favored dead marigolds for a couple days.

 

Best if you concentrate on the cool bug and not my excellent watering skills.

 

This mantis lived in the mint all summer. Unlike the four or five others haunting the garden, it had a pretty light aqua iridescent quality to the wings.

 

Quick Googling tells me that skinnier abdomens indicate maleness.

 

Although handsome, I’m not sure how helpful he was… the mint was brutally attacked by all manner of leaf-eaters this summer.

 

Praying mantis belly.

 

Truly, these eyes were imploring me to GO AWAY.

 

This lady (note the larger bottom half) lived in the lily on my front porch for awhile.

 

Unlike the guys out back, she didn’t pay me much heed, just a glance or two.

 

As lady mantises seem to eat their lovers post-coitus, I’m pretty sure I delayed this guy’s demise for an hour or so. He was making the moves on the mantis pictured below but I interrupted the romance with my watering can. Oops.

 

 

A little creepy, no?

 

The lady in question.

 

Not sure why they like the upside-down perspective.

 

Back to the mint.

 

This guy liked to “box” when I came near.

 

Haven’t seen hide nor hair of him in a couple weeks. Sigh.

Any interesting bugs in your garden this year?

xoxo,
shawna

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