Lately many voxers have posted gorgeous photos of beautiful butterflies, fascinating dragonflies and cute baby birds which they have found in their gardens or nearby environs.
In my backyard I find aphids, mosquitoes and leaves ruined by scale and sooty mould! (And, my rampant tomato bush :-)).
I have 2 bay (laurel) tree seedlings which I am nursing through an attack by evil mealy bugs. Expecting to find more mealy bugs I was thrilled to find a tiny little preying mantis sitting in the pot!!
The word "mantis" comes from the Greek word mantis for prophet or fortune teller. They are exclusively predatory – hence "preying" – and enjoy living insects including aphids and hopefully, mealy bugs!
A mantis nymph increases in size by replacing its outer body covering with a sturdy, flexible exoskeleton and molting between 5 and 10 times. Its closest relatives are termites and cockroaches ……. hope it doesn't invite them over for any coming out party!!!
Did you know that you can buy preying mantis egg cases?????
Bugs 4 sale Maybe I can get rid of my aphids afterall!!
These were taken with my trusty point & shoot Canon PowerShot.
My forefinger to show how small this little mantis is! The more photos I took the more his little head swivelled!