The weather in Texas took one of those strange turns today. Yesterday it was warm and sunny. Today, the temperature dropped dramatically, and we had heavy rain mid-morning. I’m not complaining about the rain. We can use it. But, I just wasn’t expecting it…
And neither was this Praying Mantis, I suspect. I found it late this afternoon clinging to the screen on my back porch. I am worried that it was cold and looking for someplace to go in and get warm. If I had an appropriate container and food, I would have tried to capture it and bring it in until the weather warms up in a couple of days. I love these tiny creatures. They are so interesting! And so beautiful. I have watched them catch and eat their prey, and it’s really something to see. You wouldn’t believe how fast that little mouth can gobble something up. They are beneficial beauties, eating tons of things like aphids, mosquitoes, flies, crickets, and moths. They do also eat other beneficial insects, and they will eat each other if no other food is available, so they are not perfect.
I’m afraid this Praying Mantis may be carrying an egg sac since they breed in the fall. If that’s true, the male may have already been sacrificed during mating–the females sometimes bite their heads off. But, the females often die within weeks after mating.
I’ve always been fascinated by these amazing insects. I hope this one will forgive me for not having an appropriate way to bring it in from the cold.