Praying Mantis #5

a praying mantis, Mantidae, from Baringo, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed at night near Lake Baringo, Kenya, Oct. 2016.

Praying manitses often show up at electric lights at night. At first they react as a predator would given the sudden abundance of other insects also at the light. But soon other, larger predators show up such as frogs and bats. Even if they survive the feasting until morning, insectivorous birds arrive at first light and quickly dispatch as many lingering insects as they can.

Praying Mantises are alert, visual predators. The head rotates freely by more than 180°, keeping the photographer, naturalist or potential victim in view. The first pair of legs, held as if the insect were praying, are set to snap and lethally retrieve an insect prey.

Mantidae -- Praying Mantis Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 6 Jan 2017