Subject: California Mantis in Mount Washington
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
December 7, 2013 4:30 PM
Yesterday, we decided to abandon the computer and attempt to get some yardwork done. We have some primrose plants that have naturalized in the garden and the stalks grow well over eight feet high if conditions are right. Though the flowers aren’t showy, we allow the plants to grow because the Lesser Goldfinches love the seeds and we get small flocks of the pretty birds extracting seeds from the seed capsules for many months after the plants dry. We decided to pull a few plants out and just as it was getting dark, the well camouflaged female California Mantis jumped onto the pavement after its home was disturbed. In the waning light, we managed to get a few photos. Since we have had a cold snap and since she was somewhat lethargic, we decided to bring her indoors in a small habitat until temperatures warm up again toward midweek. Nighttime temperatures are expected to dip into the high 30s for the next few day, and we hope to be able to prolong this California Mantid’s life for a bit longer by sheltering her from the cold.
Update: December 10, 2013
Well, it has gotten a bit warmer in Los Angeles, so we released the female California Mantis onto the wisteria in the back yard where there is a southern exposure, hence it is the sunniest and warmest part of the yard. We hope our intervention increases her life span and that she reproduces in our garden.