Friday, September 06, 2013

Praying Insects on La Gomera

On La Gomera you can spot a well camouflaged and peculiar insect every now and again: The Mantis. It pretends to be a twig and preys on other insects which makes it quite useful to have in the garden. It can fly like a disabled helicopter but is mostly found sitting stock-still waiting for food to fly past with only its head elegantly turning in the direction of potential prey. Once it has caught a fly or a wasp it eats it like a corn on the cob rotating it between its front legs. There are several sorts of mantis on the island, including the famed Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) which adopts a prayer-like posture while waiting for its prey, and the wingless small Pale Mantis (Pseudoyersinia pilipes) which is endemic to La Gomera. I took the picture below some time ago in the garden.

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