Life-and-death in the back yard by rhoing

Life-and-death in the back yard

I have been aware of both a male and female Carolina mantis (“Stagmomantis carolina”) on our butterfly bush (genus Buddleja). Today I observed them on adjacent branches. When they were close enough to each other it was over in an instant. This is the first shot I managed. I don't know if he was in the mood for amour and she was hungry, but it appeared that he was no match for her. She had him immobilized and helpless instantly. Within a half-hour (and more than 100 frames) she had consumed quite a bit… As indicated at BugGuide: Their food sources are “butterflies, moths, flies, small wasps and bees, true bugs and caterpillars. Often considered beneficial, mantids will eat almost anything they can catch and therefore do not differentiate whether their meal is beneficial to man or not.”
» ID’ed at BugGuide as a “Stagmomantis carolina” or “Carolina Mantis” pair
» Carolina mantis page at BugGuide

Update. One photo from the series that I shot was published in
The Natural History of The Bahamas: A Field Guide,
by Dave Currie, Joseph M. Wunderle Jr., Ethan Freid, David N. Ewert and D. Jean Lodge
(Cornell University Press, 2019).
» Also at

Looking back
1 year ago: “4-frame day: 11:50 p.m. …”
2 years ago: “At least it wasn’t a Sachem…”
3 years ago: “Finally!”
4 years ago: “Snapdragon”

[ IMG_5270S12x9CbG-25B-75tm :: f/3.2 :: 1/100" :: ISO-400 :: 60mm ]
What a find! A yard from our POV is beautiful, but it's really a field of cannibalism!
September 23rd, 2015  
Great photoThom!! The women of that species are a bit intimidating-LOL
September 24th, 2015  
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