'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Brown Mantis, Green Mantis.



About the time I left home and went to University, 1978, New Zealand was  I N V A D E D .
Before then, if I saw a praying mantis, those pumas of the insect world, those bold, confident and king predators, it was certain to be the New Zealand species: bright green, with a peacock feather-coloured eyespot on each forearm.
Then from somewhere, the South African mantis began to take over. Brown or green, with a fluffy egg-case, but no bluey-yellow eyespots, the South African female mantis even wastes the time and energy of the NZ males, for she sends a more alluring scent than the rare NZ female.
Here are a couple of the now far more common invaders on James' pitcher plant. I can't remember the last time I saw a real NZ mantis. Pity the pitchers aren't bigger ...



Can you spot them? There's a brown one and a green one. 
Here they are closer ... 





More information here:  http://www.radiolive.co.nz/How-you-can-help-save-our-native-praying-mantis/tabid/432/articleID/21079/Default.aspx





5 comments:

  1. Eve ate the apple and so Eden was lost.

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  2. We have both brown and green ones, usually big fat things of about 4 or 5 inches long. I like them, they're very friendly.

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  3. I'm given to understand that immediately after mating, the female mantis kills the male by biting off the male's head. If this is true, it's a wonder there are any praying mantises left, New Zealand or South AFrican or otherwise.

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  4. Thanks for your comments all.
    Yp. Not quire sure of the application here...
    Cro. I think they appear friendly to us because they are not afraid. They are at the top of the predator/prey apex, I suspect.
    Rwp, I read that the consuming of the male is more frequent under lab conditions... And of course, since it's AFTER (or during) mating, it affects not the future generations.

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  5. Ironically, since writing this, it has been the best year for the NZ species fir decades, I am reliably told. Reasons unknown.

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