Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Surprise in the Garden

I began to deadhead the hosta. But stopped. Can you see why?

If not, take a closer look:
Praying Mantis

The Praying Mantis or, Mantodea (or mantises, mantes) is an order of insects that contains over 2,400 valid species and about 430 genera[1] in 15 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae.

The English common name for the order is the mantises, or rarely (using a Latinized plural of Greek mantis), the mantes. The name mantid refers only to members of the family Mantidae. The other common name, often applied to any species in the order, is "praying mantis"because of the "prayer-like" posture with folded fore-limbs, although the eggcorn "preying mantis" is sometimes used in reference to their predatory habits.

The closest relatives of mantises are the termites and cockroaches (order Blattodea). They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets, or other insects with raptorial forelegs such as mantisflies.

In her Pultizer Prize-winning book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard said, “The whole creation is one lunatic fringe,” citing (among other things) that the female praying mantis eats her male sex partner.