only Seeking42

Mildly Interesting [1401.12]

Praying Mantis in Cerritos

I had always thought of praying mantises as exotic, almost mythical creatures, and any in Southern California must surely be imported. Imagine my surprise to see one in Cerritos sitting on our trash can (photos taken 1310.07).

Dave casually mentioned seeing it after coming in from putting out the trash. I jumped up, exclaiming "WHERE!!!", grabbed my camera, and ran out to see. He was bemused at my excitement, since it was so drab and tiny (a mere 2 inches long) compared to the 6-inch colorful mantises he was used to seeing growing up in Maui.

It turns out there is a species of praying mantis native to California (stagmomantis californica). I found a web page by someone who lives about 70 miles north of us who regularly sees tons of them, mostly during the fall mating season. He even has a few photos of decapitated males (ugh!).

Speaking of "ugh", can you imagine living in a place where 2-inch insects are considered tiny? Then again, growing up on a small farm in Southern California, I am unfazed by snakes and black widow spiders (which are exotic to Hawaii people).

If you wish to comment on this post, see the companion blogspot entry.

only Seeking42
Copyright 2013-2014 by Jean Kodama. All rights reserved.