Silly Saturday: Mini-Mantis Macro

CD and I had just finished a lovely picnic with Squiddy and Batty and their partners in New Zealand in January (midsummer) when I noticed a tiny movement in the bouquet of red lilies on the picnic table.  A closer look revealed a tiny mantis about two cm long prowling around among the blossoms.  While the others put the dishes and leftovers away, I fetched my two cameras and the tiny insect and I spent the better part of the next hour studying each other.  It was quite exciting and adventuresome, especially since it was apparently not bothered my intimate proximity in the least.  In fact, after about the first ten minutes, it became so used to my cameras being so close that it started to hop across the gap between us and explore them in turn.  So the idea came to me to make these photographs to help me to capture the memory of our mutual admiration.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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28 Responses to Silly Saturday: Mini-Mantis Macro

  1. He is the cutest mini-mantis I have ever seen! I love him! What a lovely exchange you must have had.

    • krikitarts says:

      Exchange is exactly right. When he wasn’t on the flowers or on the camera, he was on my fingers. We actually were doing a kind of dance with each other. I’d love to have had someone filming the encounter. I hope he was having as much fun as I was!

  2. Incredible!! Those are such unique photos. Great job! :)

  3. hellenjc says:

    Brilliant shots.. what a lucky and lovely experience.

  4. It’s hoping to be on the cover of “Mantis: The Intrepid Explorer” one day and was scouting you out and practicing some poses. I think it has the right moves and will go far in its modeling career.

    Love the shots. I think you should go into insect modeling photography. :)

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m going back again for Christmas this year and have high hopes of following up with some of his offspring in Squiddy’s back yard. I’ll see if I can coax the new generation into posing for a new session–maybe a chorus line?

  5. Reblogged this on Journal of an adventurous mother and commented:
    Great shot!

  6. sandy says:

    He is a little charmer. Great photos!

  7. The Nikon Menace…..go on punk make my day! Well done.

    • krikitarts says:

      David, I don’t quite get the “punk” reference, but I thank you for your comment. I’ve followed you back and like what I see, and have left a couple of comments with you, too. Nice to meet you!

      • Just simply the positive stance of the insect on the camera, ready to face off any threat…reminded me of Clint Eastwood’s famous challenge which translated could mean ‘don’t mess with me!’

  8. krikitarts says:

    It was amazing how fast he could move and how accurately he could jump, even though he couldn’t have been out of the egg sac for many days. Charmer is right–he sure turned it on for me!

  9. A very nice monster :-)

  10. Finn Holding says:

    That’s what I love about nature photography, opportunities can happen everywhere and at the most unexpected moments, Excellent photographs.

    • krikitarts says:

      Too right, Finn, and I’m trying to improve my readiness to embrace a new and unexpected opportunity. I think I’m improving, but I can’t yet say that I have a camera with me at all times. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring us in the way of ever-smaller cameras with ever-higher resolution. I guess what I’m hoping for is a Dick Tracy wristwatch camera that will give us the resolution of a Hasselblad with such an effective VR program that we won’t need tripods. In the meantime, one must do the best with what one has at hand. The trick is to have it at hand when it’s needed–and I hope I’m getting better at that.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks–I’ve long been fascinated by shots of the subject being on or too close to the camera–I remember well a shot of an elephant seal nose-to-nose with a tripod-mounted camera with a long telephoto lens–was it DeWitt Jones? Galen Rowell? Anyway, this was the first time I had the chance to step into those shoes, and I loved the opportunity!

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m happy that you think so, too. It’s a rather out-of-the-way place, and I count myself very fortunate to have been able to experience its wonders.

  11. Louis says:

    Very well captured. You can almost guess what is passing through the insect’s mind!

    • krikitarts says:

      I like to think it was probably akin to what was going through mine: “What a fascinating creature, and how close will he let me get to him before he freaks and flees? Ooooh, he’s not going away, no matter how close I get. I wonder what he’s really thinking. Maybe I can get even closer…”

  12. Adrian Lewis says:

    Good pictures, Gary >>> especially the one on the out of focus but still appearing to be massive Nikon! Quite seriously, Nikon might be interested in that shot for advertising. Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      If I’d made the shot with another Nikon, I’d agree that it’s worth a try, but I used the Pentax. And I don’t suppose Pentax would be seriously interested in a photo in which a Nikon is so predominantly featured. Ah, well. At least I love both shots–and a number of you, my followers, do, too. That’s enough for me!

  13. Lovely creatures they are! I like the second image a lot – he is saying ‘hello everyone!’ ;)

  14. krikitarts says:

    Mantises have long been among my favorite insects, and I’ve always felt very fortunate when I come across one in my wanderings. They are relatively fearless–even as hatchlings–and will readily explore a finger, hand, shoulder, anything. As you say, lovely creatures they are!

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