Praying Mantis

I have two large gardenias growing in pots right outside of our back door and hanging above one of the gardenias is a busy hummingbird feeder. This time of year is a busy one for our hummingbirds and I tend to spend a lot of time watching their antics as the chase each other around.

Today, as I watched out the window, a little hummingbird got my attention because it kept flying down below the feeder to look into the gardenia and then back up to the feeder. After a few minutes of watching it, I realized that something white and pretty big was moving around in the gardenia, so I went to investigate.I figured, if it got the attention of a hummingbird, I should probably take a look too.

It was a huge praying mantis and the white part I saw moving was it moving it's rear end around as it tried to shake off it's old exoskeleton. It was just finishing molting. I ran to get my camera, but by the time I got back, the exoskeleton was on the ground and the mantis was recuperating from what must have been quite an ordeal.

The praying mantis was a beautiful light green color and it was big.  And I mean B-I-G. It had wings, so it was probably it's last molt. Afraid that I might scare it and it might fall in it's weakened state, I snapped the photo above and left it alone to recover.

Aug 19 2013

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