Last Saturday I posted a photo of this subject, taken from a different angle, as a foreshadowing of this post. The subject was in a dried out birdbath in my back yard.
I first glance I didn’t know what to make of it. I had an idea of what it might be but I wasn’t positive. Looking at the far end (out of focus) of the subject I saw what appeared to be the semblance of a praying mantis head. But I didn’t know if they shed their skin like snakes. Then I remembered that I see the exoskeletons of cicadas all the the time so maybe this is the “left overs” of a praying mantis. I made a mental note to look it up. As is the case with a number of my mental notes, this one got lost somewhere in the filing system and I didn’t remember it until a week to ten days later when something prompted me.
This is what prompted me. Sure enough a week or so later I found this guy hanging out in the garden on the other side of the yard from the birdbath. Whether or not this is the same one who left his skin I don’t know but I’m guessing there is a very good chance it is. I did look up the question about molting. And the answer is: praying mantises molt six to nine times from the nymph stage until their final molt at adulthood.
One interesting thing about mantises is that they are the only insect that can turn their head side to side. It is really strange to be looking at one that is looking off to the side then, when you make a noise, it turns it head and looks at you. Very creepy.
I don’t like looking at what appears to be a bunch of upside down photos so I’ve rotated the ones that needed it for better viewing.
If this praying mantis were on Facebook this would probably be his profile photo.
You looking at me?
Thanks for stopping by.