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Posts Tagged: prey

The Monarch and the Mantis

A gravid praying mantis, her abdomen bloated, grabs a migrating monarch nectaring on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're rearing monarchs or offering them a “way station” of nectar-producing flowers in your yard, there's one thing you don't want to see: A praying mantis nailing a monarch. That's when the "pollinator friendly garden" seems more like a...

A gravid praying mantis, her abdomen bloated, grabs a migrating monarch nectaring on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A gravid praying mantis, her abdomen bloated, grabs a migrating monarch nectaring on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A gravid praying mantis, her abdomen bloated, grabs a migrating monarch nectaring on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis, perfectly camouflaged, resembles a leaf. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis, perfectly camouflaged, resembles a leaf. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis, perfectly camouflaged, resembles a leaf. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A spiked foreleg circles the monarch's thorax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A spiked foreleg circles the monarch's thorax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A spiked foreleg circles the monarch's thorax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked foreleg pierces a wing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The spiked foreleg pierces a wing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked foreleg pierces a wing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 5:00 PM

To Kill a Monarch

A praying mantis nails a monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey(

It's a sin to kill a mockingbird, wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee in her classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." "Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy,"  one of her characters, Miss Maudie, wisely...

A praying mantis nails a monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey(
A praying mantis nails a monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey(

A praying mantis nails a monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey(

Close-up of the predator and the prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the predator and the prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the predator and the prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly wing in the foreground; praying mantis in the background. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly wing in the foreground; praying mantis in the background. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly wing in the foreground; praying mantis in the background. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 6:44 PM
Tags: butterfly bush (12), milkweed (32), monarch butterfly (19), praying mantis (86), predator (11), prey (15)

Prey for Me

A praying mantis perches on a blanketflower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Whenever folks post photos of praying mantids, their readers expect to see prey. You know, the hapless bee or butterfly that made the fatal mistake of getting too close to those spiked forelegs.  This praying mantis (below) appeared to have been a...

A praying mantis perches on a blanketflower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis perches on a blanketflower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis perches on a blanketflower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Well, hello there! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Well, hello there! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Well, hello there! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Praying mantis startles a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Praying mantis startles a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Praying mantis startles a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A close-up view of an antenna of a praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A close-up view of an antenna of a praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A close-up view of an antenna of a praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015 at 7:15 PM
Tags: antennae (2), blanketflower (3), Gaillardia (16), honey bee (195), praying mantis (86), prey (15)

Watch Out!

A praying mantis is sprawled out on a hummingbird feeder, as a hummer takes a drink. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The hummingbirds seemed apprehensive. They'd fly to the feeder, stop in mid-air, and turn back. What was keeping them from the feeder? A closer look revealed what the casual observer wouldn't notice:  a praying mantis. Was the mantis a predator...

A praying mantis is sprawled out on a hummingbird feeder, as a hummer takes a drink. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis is sprawled out on a hummingbird feeder, as a hummer takes a drink. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis is sprawled out on a hummingbird feeder, as a hummer takes a drink. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis moves to another spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis moves to another spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis moves to another spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Silhouette of the praying mantis lying in wait. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Silhouette of the praying mantis lying in wait. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Silhouette of the praying mantis lying in wait. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, August 7, 2015 at 5:54 PM

There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There is such a thing as a free lunch. And a free breakfast. And a free dinner. And a free snack. That is, if you're a freeloader fly. If you've ever watched a spider snare a bee or other insect in its web, and wrap it like a fit-to-be-tied...

A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a freeloader fly, family Milichiidae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a freeloader fly, family Milichiidae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a freeloader fly, family Milichiidae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, July 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM

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