'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