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Posts Tagged ‘mantids’

One of the many heavily egg-laden female Carolina mantids (Stagmomantis carolina) encountered during last week’s collecting trip. Click/double click to enlarge.

Carolina mantids (Stagmomantis carolina) are the most abundant native mantids in North America. The heavy-bodied females are short-winged and unable to fly, while the males are long winged, slender and relatively good fliers.

We found large numbers of green individuals at our collecting site near the intersection of First and Windsor in Champaign, IL last Sunday. We did not encounter any gray or brown individuals. Though all three colors can be common, browns and greens are most often encountered throughout east central Illinois.

A brown individual, her egg case (ootheca) and hatching offspring can be found in my first blog entry, Mantids, mantids and more mantids.

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Brown phase female Carolina mantid awaiting moths. Double-click image to enlarge.

The continued warm weather has allowed me numerous opportunities to photograph recent nighttime activity.

I was surprised to see a number of brown phase mature female Carolina mantids at the tops of a number of darker shrubs. The lack of significant moonlight allowed these individuals to contrast strongly with their dark shrub background.

Moths continually flew toward the lightly colored mantids, allowing the mantids to quickly eat their fill. Haven’t seen that before…

A green phase female Carolina mantid and brown phase male can be seen at https://thingsbiological.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/an-abundance-of-carolina-mantids-stagmomantis-carolina/.

A mature brown phase Carolina female and her egg case (ootheca) can be seen at https://thingsbiological.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/mantids-mantids-and-more-mantids/.

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Grooming After Egglaying, last year's top performer, earned 15/15.

Thomisid Egglaying, 15/15 in its first international competition.

Bluet Egglaying, 14/15 in its first international competition.

The Photo Gods began the international photography competition season smiling favorably on some of my most recent photos. In this competition, “Nature” included photos taken in zoo or wildlife park settings, while “Wildlife” required the species be photographed in its natural habitat. Since almost all of my photos (except my early mantid shots) are taken in the subject’s natural setting, I distributed my entries somewhat randomly between the two divisions.

Three of my eight submissions were accepted. “Grooming After Egglaying” was accepted in the Nature category. “Bluet Egglaying” and “Thomisid Egglaying” made their international photo competition debut and were both accepted in the Wildlife category. “Grooming After Egglaying” and “Thomisid Egglaying” scored the maximum number of points possible (15). The egg focus of the three images didn’t escape my notice either…

With seven international photography competition’s data under my belt, I’ll continue eliminating some of the least competitive images using the system outlined in “System for Selecting Images for Competition.” I’ll post some of those images and offer some thoughts regarding why those images weren’t as competitive as I had originally thought they might be. Stay tuned if you are interested in the competition aspect, or just look at the pictures as they appear if you are more the browser type.

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Hatchling on Redbud Branch

Spring can now officially start. The kids submitted their ExploraVision project today, and I celebrated by taking the camera out after a late afternoon rain. Mantids continue to hatch. The picture above shows today’s hatchling at its release.

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Awaiting Prey - The realities of the world experienced by pollinators...

I’m always fascinated by the way light can cause things in a photograph to differ from the “reality” of how we experience it. The image above is a slightly sharpened version of an image I took on the day I released the mantid hatchlings. It certainly isn’t how I viewed either the newly released mantid or the flower. It’s reminiscent of the Nature series about fifteen years ago (Supersense, Episode 1) in which they modified cameras to “see” the world the way we think other organisms do.

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We hit the low 60s this afternoon. I released the 20+ surviving mantids. Au revoir, little guys!

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This morning I was pleased to see that the number of hatching mantids had decreased significantly relative to each mornings hatch over the past week. Then, between 1st and 2nd periods, a mass emergence occurred with numerous clusters the size of the one accompanying this entry. I now have about 20 mantis perti dishes awaiting outdoor drop off. After the weekend cold snap the predicted moderate weather should allow me to sprinkle them throughout a number of different areas. The daily watering and feeding routine has become pretty wearing…

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