Sunday, September 7, 2008
Today I got home and Albie said "you have to come look at this! It's a bug too big even for Sophie."
On our window facing the backyard sat a praying mantis (bönsyrsa), about 4 inches tall (10 cm). It's the biggest bug I've ever seen.
"Does it fly?" I asked, cautiously, while backing up a bit on our deck.
"Oh yeah," Albie replied, walking closer to inspect it.
I ran back inside to get my camera. Then I decided I better take the pictures from the inside... I am not too fond of bugs, especially not those that fly. But with a glass wall between us, I could study the little critter intimately.
The praying mantis got its name because it looks like it is saying a prayer when in the right position. Its little claws are clasped together, and with its wings folded up, its back gives an appearance of a little robe or cloak.
They eat insects and sometimes even lizards and rodents, and they are experts at camouflage. The mantises are also known for their sexual cannibalism, where the female eats the male after (or even during) their sexual acts - starting by biting off the male's head.
Nice little creatures, in other words.
I thought living on a farm for three years prepared me for most types of bugs - beetles, crickets, mites, ticks and fleas. I was wrong. This is the scariest flying thing I've ever seen in real life. For now, I'm staying as far away from it as I can, with my doors and windows shut tight.