Retraction of the Native

I’m sorry to have to report that I was mistaken regarding the (dare I say it?) nativity of the little mantis nymph in my post two days ago; I didn’t do enough homework. I’m a member of a New Zealand bug-identification group and several other members have confirmed that it was indeed one of the South African invasives. The native nymphs are always green with a wide brown dorsal stripe and they carry their bodies nearly straight, whereas the SA ones’ abdomens typically curl up at the end. There is some hope, though (even though I saw another similar nymph yesterday afternoon), in that I did see a native ootheca on the outside wall of our garden shed a couple of weeks ago, so I know they’re still around. Meanwhile, now for something completely different: Squiddy hosted her annual Halloween party Saturday afternoon & evening, and we all carved pumpkins or squash (and one turnip). Here’s the final lineup; mine was the grinning cat, fourth from right.

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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20 Responses to Retraction of the Native

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    I like your grinning cat!

  2. I hope you won’t have to run far from the madding crowd of indignant native species folks.

    • krikitarts says:

      Actually, they’re very polite and happy to deliver a little friendly constructive criticism. I don’t think I’ve seen a single comment that I’d call indignant. It’s a great group.

  3. Mike Powell says:

    I think that we all have misidentified species, so I wouldn’t get too worried about it, Gary. I like having my tentative identifications vetted by more expert folks, especially when they are willing to explain the reasons why I was wrong, rather than simply stating that I erred.

    • krikitarts says:

      Absolutely my take on the matter, too–no worries at all. On the other hand, I really should do some more careful research before I go out on an arthropod limb like that. I did look for photos of native and SA nymphs, but obviously not thoroughly enough. I don’t mind being wrong either unless, with a bit more care, I could have avoided the error. Thanks, Mike.

  4. Like Mike has said, we all get it wrong sometimes. I do the same when I am not sure and try to get confirmation from experts, and I record most of my sightings on the UK data base where they either get accepted or corrected … and sometimes they don’t know without a specimen to study.

  5. Oh … and a great line up there BTW!

  6. I wouldn’t have a clue so can really commiserate on the wrong ID. Happens to all of us. I’d still be excited to have found this little nymph, correct name or not. Your Gary o’lantern is too cool to be scary.

    • krikitarts says:

      The miniature world of the new generations is endlessly fascinating, and it is a challenge to tell them apart–and we get better at it the more we try. Thanks for letting me know you liked my carving.

  7. Adrian Lewis says:

    We all make mistakes, no one is perfect! :)

  8. Meanderer says:

    Love the spooky line-up; your cat carving is purrrrfect :-) :-)

    I have sometimes found that images or diagrams of species aren’t always that clear (whether on the internet or in books) and have led to my mis-identification at times. Thank you for the update!

  9. bluebrightly says:

    I love the lineup and hope you see a fully grown native before too long. :-)

    • krikitarts says:

      I’d be happy to see a native at any stage, from the first nymph through the six or eight instars to a full adult. I know they must be around, and I am ever optimistic that my path will cross with one of theirs. Thanks for sharing in that hope!

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