'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


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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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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