Monday, September 11, 2017

Unusual Nature Drama

Most of us are familiar with the story of the praying mantis! We have long been taught or read since we were children that the female praying mantis eats the head of the male after mating. I have long been in this world for decades, always observing nature with my own eyes or with camera, and yet i haven't seen the actual scene. 

This morning in my own garden i watched, observed and documented them with my own two eyes. Yes i am a witness of a big murder, cannibalism or whatever you call that. But this is a fact of their lives. It is a normal phenomenon for praying mantises. Documents say it is not always that the female eats the male after mating. Some say that it is because they observed them in laboratory conditions, but it might differ in the wild, outside captivity. 

I am watching the duranta bush, which is always teeming with butterflies. They not only nectar on this but also do the courtship dance in this mini world. Sometimes, territorial displays of driving away different species happen here. 

I was just watching them with my camera at hand, when a movement caught my attention. The head of the green male praying mantis is already gone, but their abdomens are still attached. The female maneuvered the legs and ate them next, then the wings followed.

 it is now eating the wings

 The National Geographic documents say normally the smaller males are eaten, but in this case the male is also big, maybe as big as the female.


 Only the body of the male is not finished yet, the female is still clutching it, with the abdomen claspers also clasping still the male abdomen. The drama lasted for a few minutes. At the above stage i left it as it is a bit yucky to watch the female eating the whole abdomen of its mate.

 So after a few minutes i went back, and it is already finished eating its mate. It then bent its abdomen in an act as if it is cleaning its abdomen's tip! I didn't know it can bend at that very sharp angle, 180°.

 This is the final picture of the very satisfied female mantis, with its belly bulging from the big size of the male mantis. I can almost discern the green color mirroring the green color of the male it just has devoured.

 It now just stayed on the duranta twigs, immobile, very heavy tummy. It now is assured that the eggs developing inside are fertilized and will eventually continue perpetuating its species. That is nature fulfilled. Despite the almost bizarre drama that took place, their nature is such, whatever means to perpetuate the species longevity!




23 comments:

  1. These close-ups gave me chills :) Really nicely documented.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Chills indeed Mersa! That's my geeling too aside from awe and yick, haha! Thanks for the visit

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  2. Hello, wonderful series of photos. Nature is just amazing. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

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    1. Thanks much Eileen for always visiting my posts!

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  3. Oh wow! What a fascinating thing to watch!
    I hope you'll come share your photos at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/09/pop.html

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    1. Thanks for coming over and the invitation!

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  4. That's an amazing thing to witness, although I must admit it's rather yucky.

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    1. Oh yes Al, I was curious all along but left when it was about to eat the body, truly yucky!

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  5. Thanks for the photos. I've heard of this but have never seen it. Hubby is not amused :) .

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    1. In my more than midlife existence knowing all along about it, that was the first time I saw it in person. Thanks Rhonda for coming over, my pleasure that someone like tou read my post.

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  6. Such interesting and fascinating story with photos of the praying mantis. By the way, the flowering Duranta is also a beauty!

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    1. Thanks much Judy. I wished I videod the whole thing.

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  7. Oh wow. Creepy and interesting all at the same time Andrea..... Michelle

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    1. Hi yes Michele creepy, and as I said above I intentionally left when it was about to eat the abdomen, as it is yucky!

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  8. Thank you for showing, I was always wondered if it was true!

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    1. Haha yes Klara, as I discussed above, imagine in my more than midlife this was only my first time to see it happen!

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  9. oh my goodness.....such a great capture

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  10. Wow! That was something that you hear about but don't see! I really like the lovely purple flowers with the butterfly on it.

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  11. Nice to see confirmed - but still sort of sobering and upsetting to watch.

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  12. Wow - what an amazing moment you captured!

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