Rego Park, NY
Praying Mantis Walking On An Anthurium Flower
Photograph - Photograph
I photographed this little guy in my photo studio. I purchased an Anthurium Flower at my local florist shop, brought it back to the studio, placed him on it and let him walk around. I used a 140 macro lens, #2 extension tube mounted on a Mamiya RZ Pro 2 medium format camera bringing me approximately 3" from the mantis filling up the whole frame in the view finder. Depth of Field was very shallow, 3/4" to 11/4" deep, I had to position the flower and mantis in a way to stay within the 11/4" to get the sharp focus you see of him in this image.The Praying Mantis, tenodera aridifolia sinensis, also known as the Chinese Mantis, Predator of insects is one of the largest species in the the mantis family reaching lengths of approximately six inches. It is beneficial to any garden having fruits, vegetables, flowers, or plants. It preys and feeds on insects that may be harmful to any garden keeping the eco system in check! They are extremely quick! When hungry they will stay still on a branch, limb or flower with their arms folded in a praying position then when another insect or prey come within their reach they will grab it at lightning speed and start eating it alive usually starting with the head of it's prey. There also have been cases documented of these mantises taking down small gardner snakes, baby mice and humming birds! When I was a young boy of 11 year's old someone had told me there was a $500.00 fine if caught killing these little guys, I wonder what it is today! A Farmer or anyone having a garden should have a couple of these roaming around keeping the insect population under control. It is also fun to hold in your hands and have as pets. The best way to catch one of these mantises is to extend your hand palm down and have them walk on the top of your hand, by doing it this way the mantis won't feel threatened, however if you tried picking them up by grabbing their bodies, there's a good possibility you might get a little sting from their sharp needle like claws, not such a good idea! After mating, sometimes the female will bite off the head of the male. About a week or two later the female will lay her eggs sometimes in late September or early October in what is called an egg casing with air pockets which hardens and protects the babies throughout the cold winter months and other predators! The female will usually expire approximately one to two weeks after this. Sometime in May of the following year when the weather starts to warm up the hatchlings will emerge from the egg casing sometimes eating each other to survive before finding other prey. At this time the cycle starts all over again until October. As a pet, it is very unique and interesting insect to raise from a hatchling to adult size and if anyone has this opportunity the way I have, they will have a great experience finding out what Nature brings to all of us and the purpose they have in the world we live in today!
July 3rd, 2012
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