My husband John and I were sitting on our friends, Jack and Jen’s, deck one evening a couple of weeks ago and a bug hit my arm, I brushed it away without thinking. Didn’t another one land on my other arm, I looked down and there was a HUGE bug…probably about 6 inches. It startled me, I may have even let out a girly noise. I recovered quite quickly, brushing it off the deck. We all moved the railing to look on the grass. To our surprise, it was a praying mantis. I have grown up in Ontario and have never seen one. In fact, I thought they were a more southern bug.
So, I took a plate off the table and (bravely) went down to the grass to catch it…I thought the kids should see it and us adults were also pretty darn curious! I scooped him up to show the kids, big and small. Jen went and found a bug catcher to store him in for further viewing. He was very cool! John decided he would be a great subject for some pictures so we took him home.
Google helped us figure out he was a male praying mantis (wings longer than the torso) and we saw some pretty cool pictures of them eating bugs. We were also reminded of his fate after mating. His partner will eat him. Yummy! He very kindly hung out on a stick for us in the morning so we could take some pictures, then he flew away, probably to find a mate. Poor guy!
By Shelly September 24, 2012 - 7:36 am
I have always had a fascination with them for some reason – maybe because I have deep respect for bugs that eat the bugs I hate. And because they have never done anything (sting/bite) to me. One year, up at the land near Collingwood, the field was literally crawling with them. They were smaller then the one you found so I don’t know if they grow larger or if they are larger the further south they are. They were green and blended in so well with the tall grass they were difficult to see at first. I’m not sure if they turn brown with the grass or are a different variety but amazing lil creatures. As a kid I remember fireflies and walking sticks – I don’t know if I just don’t get out as much as I use to or if these more interesting insects have just disappeared but I kind of miss ’em.
By Liz September 24, 2012 - 4:42 pm
After I got over being startled…it was very cool. He really did seem to be checking us out too! Thanks for commenting!
By Dee September 27, 2012 - 3:50 pm
Liz – I’ve seen and caught a couple, at the old GB school and at our home. They are usually a bit brighter green. All in all, a really neat critter.
By Liz September 27, 2012 - 5:21 pm
Quite fascinating to look at. Thanks for commenting!