Menagerie Monday: Mantis on Dahlia

There was a mantis on one of our dahlia blossoms yesterday. Fortunately, it stayed there long enough for a very nice photo session. Unfortunately, it was one of the South African invasives (Miomantis caffra), which—although not officially considered a pest species here—are thought to be displacing the native species (Orthodaera novaezealandiae) because the exotic females appear to be more attractive to the native males than their own native females. (The native mantises have obvious oval blue spots on the lateral sides of their forelegs.)      I still find them to be among the most fascinating insects.

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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30 Responses to Menagerie Monday: Mantis on Dahlia

  1. OMG, it actually let me like your post for the first time in forever!!! How are you my friend? These pictures are stunning!!

  2. shoreacres says:

    I pray we won’t have to wait so long for another photo like this terrific mantis. Surely there are other subjects you can prey upon!

  3. Peter Klopp says:

    Fantastic macros with amazing clarity and focus!

  4. zannyro says:

    I guess it’s not exactly a wanted guest, but what great images!

  5. Nicely done, Gary. I stared onto those eyes for a little while but pretty sure I’ll be staying with Mary Beth. :-)

    • krikitarts says:

      Ah, yes, Steve, the eyes–endlessly fascinating. I don’t think there’s any other insect in which the facets seem to work the same way, so that no matter the angle from which one looks at them, there seems to be a “pupil” that’s looking directly back at you. Definitely arresting, and more than a little unsettling. But somehow you can’t help but stare back…

  6. Vicki says:

    That last shot is particularly sharp and well-focused, Gary. I love the Mantis too. Hope to see some more photos from you soon.

    Hope you and the family are well and enjoying your new life spread over 2 countries. Must be a treat to get the best out of every season. Best Wishes, Vicki

    • krikitarts says:

      Yup, we’re very happy with the way things are working out. It’s (moderately) melancholy to read about the cold and the snow back in the northern US, but I must admit that the summer here is rather a joy by comparison!

  7. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful images, my friend. :)

  8. Lemony says:

    Fascinating indeed! Wonderful captures, Gary!

    • krikitarts says:

      There’s something that seems very alien about them, especially their triangular heads and the apparent expression of intense interest in their faces. Makes one wonder what’s really going on in there…

  9. Helen Cherry says:

    Cute as anything and very well captured.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks for that–I consider them cute when they are less than an inch long, but then again, they don’t really change that much if form as they grow. I think it might be a stretch for some to use the term for a full-grown adult.

  10. As soon as I saw the first picture I wondered whether the mantis is native, given that so many species in NZ aren’t. Your caption below that picture quickly answered my question.

    • krikitarts says:

      I really wish I would see more of the natives. Different sources seem to vary on the effect of the South African variety on the native species, but one that I consulted for this post suggested that they are not [yet?] considered a pest species, others disagree. I am still concerned and hope to encounter more of the natives. I’ll keep looking!

  11. Pingback: Menagerie Monday: Bush Crickets | krikitarts

  12. bluebrightly says:

    Mantises are so amazing – I haven’t seen one for years (probably because I moved mostly but possibly also because there are fewer than there were). How sad that the invasive females are favored by the native males – crazy! Wonderful photos!

    • krikitarts says:

      I seem to be seeing steadily fewer mantises as the years roll on. I haven’t read that they are in any real danger, but it is certainly a matter of concern that the local guys seem to be smitten by the exotic girls. I also wonder if the latter also show a penchant for cannibalism (for which some mantises are reputed) after they have lured the former into the metaphorical boudoir–which would definitely not help their prospects for…dare I say it?…holding their own.

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