Dun Pray Pray…

June 14, 2010 at 8:09 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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This particular day when Itchyfingers found the Leaf Insect nymph, there were also lotsa other insects in the vicinity, most of them also pretty young ones. We saw a couple of these tiny green ones – one of them was in a particularly open spot that was ideal for some close observation.

A tiny juvenile Praying Mantis. What was he looking at?

Praying mantises are so called because of its prominent front legs, which are
bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer

“What are you looking at?!?” Look at the sharp piercing eyes! This tiny guy
turned immediately to my direction when he discovered me peeping at him.
Praying Mantis have triangular heads poised on a long “neck,” which is
an elongated thorax (the middle section of insects). They can turn their
heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large
compound eyes
and three other simple eyes located between them. Compound eyes are
very sensitive to motion

I was distracted for a short while by some birds and the next moment I turned back, I realised I just missed some action!

He had just caught himself lunch for the day! When he saw me still peeping
at him, he tried to take cover under the leaf..apparently pissed…hahah…
Praying Mantises are formidable predators. Being well camouflaged on plants,
they lie in ambush or patiently stalk their prey. Then they use their powerful
spikey front legs to snare their prey with remarkable speed and accuracy!
Some unfortunate insect preys include moths, crickets, grasshoppers and
flies. Bigger species will even take small lizards, frogs, birds, snakes or
even rodents!

Well, with the juicy lunch in hand, obviously he couldn’t wait to savour it while it’s still fresh…hahah. So after trying in vain to hide himself, he gave up and started chewing the fly..head first…

Hmmm….delicious! Praying Mantis eats its whole prey. I was surprised this
one even took the wings! He must be starving…haha
:p  “The structure
of the compound eye creates the illusion of a small pupil, which could be a
diffraction of light and dark that you see inside the eye which ‘appears’ to be
following you as you move. This illusion is because the dot is a spot that’s
always toward you as you move. It is not following you, it just ‘appears’ to be
doing so because of light diffraction within the many cells of the compound eyes”

I kept staring at him munching his lunch from beginning to the end. He must be really uncomfortable and pissed off with me that after he finished his meal, he turned to me again to give me this warning stare again… :p

“Dun pray pray! ” :O

Wow…Itchyfingers is so scared…hahah…! 8)

Also see related posts:
> Eating Its Own Kind? – Spidey Galore #2
Jaws – Spidey Galore #1
‘Leaf’ Me Alone
Masters of Disguise and Camouflage
A Visit to the Hospital
Attaining Immortality – Body Preservation


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