Monday, October 18, 2010

Corralitas Drive: Praying Mantis

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, October 17, 2010. A very large Praying Mantis took shelter from the rain in the door frame of a new house on Corralitas. (Click on photo enlarge and see her making eye contact with the photographer.) 
Saturday, at least three neighbors observed this Praying Mantis posing upside down on the side of a new house on Corralitas Drive. She is still hanging around as of today. Her body was about 4 inches long. One neighbor remarked, "she looks just like a dead leaf." Indeed, this predator uses its remarkable camouflage to lie in wait for unsuspecting insect prey.
Learn more about Praying Mantis on Bug Guide. 
October 19, 2010, UPDATE: This Praying Mantis is indeed clever. When she was hangs on the side of the house, she fully extends her body, legs and wings (that looked like leaves), so she appeared to be about 4 inches long. This morning, I observed her tucked up into the door frame, making herself small; she was about 3 inches long.