Praying Mantis

The “Praying Mantis” is truly a most remarkable creature with a striking appearance and curious habits!

  • carrie

    It must be the time of year that they come out in force or something, because for the past week or so, we have had daily visits from one and sometimes TWO of them on our office window, just as big as that one. When we look out the window at them, they look back. Amazing creatures indeed.

  • tiger

    & just coming back to add… the whole “yes. yes it’s for him.” comment… yeah. Honesty schmonesty… when you have a cold all bets are off. It was amazing to me how many people would comment on my daughter when she was a baby… “Oh, how cute! How old is HE?” …and she’d be wearing flippin’ PINK and have bows in her hair. I mean. How observant does one have to be to NOT miss the PINK and the BOWS? Y’know? :)

  • krissy pants

    I like that you were able to capture it’s shadow…however looks like it’s time to scrape and repaint the trim.

  • shmee

    Is there a praying mantis in the photo? Drat. I just spent the entire summer painting the outside of the house, and all I can see is peeling paint. I friggin’ dream about peeling paint. :(

    Nice pic though.

  • Amy S

    I grew up in CA, I used to see and play with those bugs when I was younger, I have since moved to Minnesota and they don’t have those here.I kinda miss them…

  • janna

    I never know whether it’s “praying” or “preying” mantis. I know it looks like it’s got its buggy hands together in religious fervor, but in reality isn’t it just looking for its next snack? I don’t know. Great picture.

  • robs

    I live in Alberta and I have neer seen a praying mantis…I’m actually very glad I haven’t. Why can’t you kill them? Do they bite(sorry stupid question)? They look scary.

  • teach

    This must be their season – I just saw an equally gigantic one on the window during our last staff meeting. It looked just like a little alien and was much, much more interesting than the meeting (not that that’s very difficult). Isn’t a praying mantis a good omen? Like in China or something? If not, it should be…

  • leandra

    I found one of those (about that size) on my car one evening. I didn’t want to kill it so I tried to get it to step onto a stick so I could move it into the shrubs. The silly creature proceeded to “fight” with the stick until I finally managed to get it under him. Fascinating creatures, indeed.

  • TracyDee

    Did you know that in Asian culture they are considered lucky?

  • Jenn

    I love the mantis. I love the fecundity of the mantis. Anything that can drop 300 eggs in one sitting needs to be admired or reincarnated as a superhero. But what do they do? Make the superhero a man–if it were a woman-hero, think of the additional superpowers!

  • Jenn

    BTW, nothing against men. It’s just the mantis female is so well-known (the biting head off aspect). I just feel it was a good opportunity, lost. Like saying “no” to additional versions of CSI.

  • Shiz

    I think getting a pink t-shirt for Leta with GIRL on it would be very funny.

  • Leonardo

    Ohio State University Extension says adult mantids will mate readily in captivity, meaning frisky mantids are reconvening their procedures even as we speak…

    Hot Mantid Love. With spiny, serrated forelegs, to boot. Bugs are kinky. Why is the moral decline of our bugs not a hot election topic?

  • Toki

    I saw one of those in September on my porch. It was actually discovered by my one year old daughter, who looked like she wanted to pet it. I wasn’t sure if they were a biting bug, so I asked one of the teachers coming up to her car (I live in front of an elementary school) and she told me, yes they bite and also, “it’s illegal to kill one because they’re an endangered species.” I wouldn’t kill it anyway, but just so you know, if you WANTED to kill it, it’s not illegal.

  • Sven

    I wonder what in the whole wide world you´d have to take a photo of for people to say “I don´t like it, it sucks!”. It truly amazes me!

  • ling


  • Eirik

    Ah. Yet another reason I’m happy to be living outside the U.S. (Bush and the Republicans being the main reason, of course ;) Brilliant picture, though!

  • Heather 2

    I live in northern Illinois and didn’t realize we had these here until a few weeks ago. Found one by the front door, and also took pictures of it. After I saw it, I got curious and did some reading on them; they eat mosquitoes and moths, and farmers will actually buy their eggs to have them in their fields to help control other bugs.

  • Andrea

    Wasn’t there already a Mantis superhero? I swear I remember a TV show or something in the 90′s. Although, I do think it was male, not female?

    …Or maybe it was just all the drugs I was experimenting with at the time….

  • Em

    Them are some big bugs.

    In 2nd grade we had two in a aquarium in our classroom. One day we came back from lunch and found only one. Ew.

  • Heatheranne

    Those are so cool. I had one on my car the other day and I had Andre come outside and wave a stick in front of it so he could see it’s little head move around as it watched the stick.

  • Rebecca

    One time when I was really drunk, I decided to pick one of those up. It reared it’s head back, then lunged forward and bit the living hell out of my finger. It was stuck there until I started swinging it around. They’re fun to look at, but not to touch.

  • -leslie.-

    I am very fond of the cartoon with the praying mantis where the caption reads, “you’re probably not going to believe this, but I’m an atheist.”

  • Aimee

    ::shudder:: Creepy little devil, that one. and I agree – a pink “girl” shirt is just what the doctor ordered.

  • James Wheare

    Hah! Beat ya to it!

    Keep up the good work. Anything to say to convince me once and for all to get a D7?

  • James Wheare

    Damn, these comments really need a preview option. Now how am I gonna keep track of my referrals?

    Can I justify this post by claiming I’m helping the lazy ones?

    I feel so dirty.

  • Sarah

    As nice as the photograph is, I would start foaming at the mouth, were one of those to crawl up my leg or be within five miles of me. No amount of soap would do justice. Oh. My. God.

  • Amber

    They look like tiny little aliens.

  • Lisa

    Nice shot of a female mantis.
    They’re not illegal to kill in Georgia – we have plenty of them.

  • JennD

    I had one of these living in my container garden. I moved a pot and he/she came running out after me, I am assuming the little critter wasn’t pleased. Nice pic!

  • the mighty jimbo

    those things totally creep me out.

    i’m not sure i like the idea of any female that chews off the head of it’s mate.

    i seem to date too many of those women already.

  • Danika

    Like Robs I too live in Alberta and have never seen one of those. They look.. scary and neat at the same time.

    Just a suggestion to the people with questions about the mantis the caption under the pic is a link Dooce was nice enough to supply. From skimming that I learned they are not endangered and it is not illegal to kill them in Ohio. They don’t bite but will ‘pinch’ with their forelegs. Oh and yes this is the season for them and they are known as both Praying Mantis and Preying Mantis.

  • Lindsey

    Man, that’s a big one!!!

  • patti

    The praying manti in Michigan are not quite as big as those in Utah…isn’t there a lot of nuclear testing over by you?

  • sarcastic journalist

    The bug is scary enough, but get a look at that shadow!!!

  • http://none Andrea

    One summer when I was a kid, I caught one, fed it crickets and grasshoppers, and was amazed when it laid an egg sac on the stick I’d put in the jar. I let the mantis go in late summer, but kept the stick…and in the spring, I had hundreds and hundreds of tiny baby mantises in the jar one day. I kept them a bit too long, however, and by the time I let them go, there were only, like, three still alive :( But it’s a great memory of childhood. Mine never pinched or bit me (though I never tried to hold it), but another one I tried to catch a few summers later DID…that sucker was huge, probably four inches long.

    Now that everyone knows I’m geek-girl… :)

  • sarah

    Amen to the post about the pants hitting the shoe “just right” thing. It is these subtleties that really make the difference.

  • Chanelbaby

    I love how your photo caption sounds like it could have come from a 1950′s educational film about insects, complete with exclamation! “Interesting AND fun!”

    Good work on the drugstore coup. I would so do that, and I don’t even have a child!

  • Sue

    I’ve been inspired by you, Heather, and I’m working on a URL..

    anywho, I haven’t seen one this year but I did see a walking those are nifty little creatures.

  • ranae

    oh my god! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK so these praying mantis couple decided to have a little familiy outside my apartment door – have you ever seen hundreds of these little creatures? they completely freak me out – especially when they raise their little arms up in the air and hiss and chase you while wiggling their little jaws

  • PoeticaL

    wowsers those window’s need painted…baaad. Nice shot tho’.

  • Anne

    Shh! If you listen closely, you can hear him praying … “And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people.”

    That bugger sounds a LOT like Mormon. SOUND THE ALARM!!

  • ella’s ma

    You wouldn’t find me anywhere close enough to get a pic like that. Any creature with more than 4 legs just creeps me out.
    And dooce: I totally agree about the pants thing. Why is it so hard for men to get it right????

  • Michelle

    I cannot stop shuddering. Bleh.

  • Elizabeth

    On the topic of t-shirts (bugs that big with that many legs and a reputation for being aggressive scare me to death), did you see Darn Tootin’s daughter with the t-shirt that reads “Talks Too Much” ??

    Our son has wonderful blonde curls so his grandmother won’t let us cut them — so everywhere we go, we get “what’s her name?” Sigh.

    Then a friend sent us an article about a Jewish family who is having a HUGE celebration/party — family being forced to fly on airplanes to attend, etc. — on the occasion of their child’s first haircut at the age of three. Our Gillis is only 22 months!

  • Aimee

    About boys getting the pants just right – mine wears his jeans cuffed and a little short – a little geeky…and soooo hot.

  • eddeaux

    If that bug spits in your eye, you’ll go blind. So you better pray that it don’t spit in your eye.

  • Carny Asada

    I had a mantis land on me late one night while I was waiting for the train. It came out of the darkness, and in the station lights, I swear to god it was so big it looked like a pigeon. Then it landed. Wow! What a freaky little alien! I hope there will ALWAYS be mantids in the world.

  • papercup

    I’m more interested in the peeling paint.