Elegantly poised the mantis preys!

Elegantly poised the mantis preys!

Oh eloquent Praying Mantis, what have ye in store for me?  If you observe this creature for a while you would see why they are associated with stillness and peace. Yes, among myth and folklore the praying mantis is a popular subject, and the Chinese have lots of positives to say. A mantra thus reads, “The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100 percent positive it is the right thing to do”. For a mantra this is very self-explanatory I must say.  The praying mantis symbolizes meditation, contemplation, direction and even destruction depending on which part of the world you are in! An old French belief was that praying mantises would help lost children home, by of course pointing in the right direction. Now you know what your kid’s next pet could be!

Good thing about mantises, apart from getting some divine inspiration, is that they have huge appetites and would be very handy to have in a garden or even at home if weird creatures aren’t new to your household.  I’ve heard their idea of a Thanksgiving dinner is a platter of red meat (well-done of course) with some flies. Of course not!  They do like flies though and eat various household and garden insects such as worms, bees, mosquitoes, roaches, aphids, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles and spiders.

Beware though! They are carnivorous and feed on anything they can capture and devour your beneficial insect buddies too! I feel most sorry for the cute little lady bugs.

Praying mantises don’t really stick to the same place for long so you won’t really have a problem with having too many. Their young ones are called nymphs, resemble the adult in structure, are about 5 mm in length and eat voraciously too, sometimes even their siblings. How we wish our children were like that!

Take a look here at this greenish grey colored beauty captured on the underside of a basil leaf at the community garden at Scottsdale, Arizona. We noticed it munching on a bee already in its clutches (lodged tightly within its claw-like forelimbs). As its meal got smaller, it tucked the remains under its elbow and moved it back and forth to its mouth until it was done! Or we thought so! It then licked off its wings the bee’s juicy remains! Feeling satisfied it continued to its favored head-upward praying stance we all behold.

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