January 25, 2011 11:53 am
I would like to start by saying that I first discovered your site in 2004 when tryng to identify a spider found in our backyard (turned out to be a green lynx feasting on a leaf footed bug)and your site helped to start and sustain our family as self described ”insect seekers” ever since. While I have not posted in quite a while, I still visit your site at least once a month (my son on the other hand still posts photos and questions quite frequently)
I found this guy (or gal) in my shed hanging out under my planting table. The dog seeed very interested in him, and not wanting my pooch to inadvertantly harm this fella, i shooed him (the mantis) out with a broom. Needless to say he was not happy with this sudden eviction. Once outside, he whips around, throws his arms up and makes this strange hiss-like sound (kinda freaked out the dog)so I go in, grab my camera, and poke at him trying to get him to do it again (with my ”brave” dog hiding behind me). He does, but this time gives me the added bonus of his colorful rear end. I decided to leave him be, I figure I wouldn’t be happy if someone had rudely evicted me either. He hung around the door for the next couple hours, then after i had gone inside for lunch, came back out and he had decided to take back his home under my bench. That was 3 monthes ago, and he is still there! We live in Katy tx, a suburb of Houston so the climate is not too bad in the wi nter, plus my shed is heated. I don’t bother him, he doesn’t bother me, and my dog is a real weenie, so we all get along just fine.
Thanks for putting up with my long winded letter, and thanks also for helping teach us that just because some of earths creatures are smaller than us, doesn’t mean they are any less significant.
Signature: Tony F
Thanks so much for your passionate missive. We love hearing about our reader’s fascination with bugs. Try as we might, we are having difficulty identifying this mantis in this awesome threat posture. This pose is characteristic of the Mediterranean Mantis, Iris oratoria, but if you compare the images on BugGuide to your photo, you see that the wing markings are different and that dark spot on the ventral surface between the raptoreal front legs of your specimen is not visible in this BugGuide photo. Your specimen is also quite different from this California Mantis pictured on BugGuide, but the upper wings are patterned similarly to this closely related Carolina Mantis, Stagmomantis carolina, pictured on BugGuide, and we wonder if perhaps that might be the correct species. Your photo is quite wonderful and your interactions with this magnificent creature are quite heartwarming.