PRAYING or PREYING MANTIS IN OUR CONNECTICUT GARDEN (9-5-07)
I hope this email reaches you. My first attempt failed, according to message received from my carrier, "due to an unexpected disconnection from service. Yes, I know you have praying mantis pictures posted on your site but perhaps these will be of use to you as well. On September 1st I commented, to my husband, that I’d yet to find a praying mantis to "shoot" for my photo collection of insects. On September 2nd, we were host to a tremendous monarch butterfly convention. Perhaps we are on a flyway here in Connecticut? They were swarming about our Joe Pie weed and having a great time. I suddenly noticed that one of the revelers was, apparently, "stuck" in the flowers. It was behaving as if engaged in a battle. Upon closer examination, I discovered the truth. A battle to the death. Just look at the "arms" of the praying mantis . . . "all the better to hug you with, my dear. I’m wondering; can you tell if our ravenous praying mantis is a female or male? The creature is still here, well-disguised as a Joe Pie weed branch, waiting for another victim, but our monarchs seem to be gone. From Connecticut, would they travel to Mexico, California or Florida to spend the winter? Thanks for providing such a marvelous site for those of us fascinated by the insects found in our gardens. One does not have to travel far, as I have found, for great adventure!
Susan B. Naumann
What a marvelous Food Chain documentation. Your Chinese Mantis might be a male, but we cannot be certain. Your Monarchs would not winter in California but the Oyamel Fir forests of Mexico’s Transverse Volcanic Belt.