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Yes, It Happens: Sexual Cannibalism in Praying Mantids

A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yes, it happens. We've heard the stories and read some of the scientific literature about what a female praying mantis will do to her partner during the mating process. Sexual cannibalism. She'll bite the head off of her mate and eat it--but the mating...

A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The headless male lived about eight hours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The headless male lived about eight hours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The headless male lived about eight hours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the headless male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the headless male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the headless male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 8:15 PM

The Effect of the Drought on Insects

he drought has caused a number of immature praying mantids to die for lack of food.  This is a female female Stagmomantis californica, as identified by Andrew Pfeiffer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The severe California drought--we're in the fourth year--is affecting us all, but it's also affecting insects, says Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis. She writes...

he drought has caused a number of immature praying mantids to die for lack of food.  This is a female female Stagmomantis californica, as identified by Andrew Pfeiffer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
he drought has caused a number of immature praying mantids to die for lack of food. This is a female female Stagmomantis californica, as identified by Andrew Pfeiffer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

he drought has caused a number of immature praying mantids to die for lack of food. This is a female female Stagmomantis californica, as identified by Andrew Pfeiffer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 6:16 PM

The Spider and the Skipper

A banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)--as identified by UC Davis distinguished professor Art Shapiro--waits for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is a a story about a spider and a skipper. Technically, a banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata) and a fiery skipper butterfly (Hylephila phyleus, family Hesperiida). The garden spider lies in wait, its head down, clinging to its real...

A banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)--as identified by UC Davis distinguished professor Art Shapiro--waits for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)--as identified by UC Davis distinguished professor Art Shapiro--waits for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)--as identified by UC Davis distinguished professor Art Shapiro--waits for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata) wraps its meal, a male fiery skipper (Hylephila phyleus). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata) wraps its meal, a male fiery skipper (Hylephila phyleus). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata) wraps its meal, a male fiery skipper (Hylephila phyleus). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

While the garden spider wraps its prey, two fiery skippers (Hylephila phyleus) prepare to mate on a Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
While the garden spider wraps its prey, two fiery skippers (Hylephila phyleus) prepare to mate on a Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

While the garden spider wraps its prey, two fiery skippers (Hylephila phyleus) prepare to mate on a Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 5:55 PM

'The Sting' Revisited

The Sting: A bee stings the wrist of Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen. That's the abdominal tissue trailing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photographers are frustrated, and rightfully so, with all the thievery on the Internet. Like many other photos, "The Sting," is being used illegally for commercial purposes. It's appeared on sites like PhotoBucket where unscrupulous people sell it...

The Sting: A bee stings the wrist of Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen. That's the abdominal tissue trailing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Sting: A bee stings the wrist of Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen. That's the abdominal tissue trailing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Sting: A bee stings the wrist of Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen. That's the abdominal tissue trailing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

'The Sting' now has a life of its own and many are using it for their own commercial purposes: to profit from a photo that is not theirs.
'The Sting' now has a life of its own and many are using it for their own commercial purposes: to profit from a photo that is not theirs.

'The Sting' now has a life of its own and many are using it for their own commercial purposes: to profit from a photo that is not theirs.

Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 7:32 PM
Tags: bee sting (9), copyrighted image (1), Eric Mussen (201), The Sting (3), The Sting (3), viral (1)

An Amazing Ant/Millipede Video

Belgium-born Stéphane De Greef (and a Facebook friend) captured this amazing video,

Deep in the jungles of Cambodia, near the temples of Angkor, an unlikely drama takes place. Blue ants of the genus Leptogenys, native to southeast Asia, surround their prey, a massive millipede. It's almost like circling the wagons in a scene from...

Belgium-born Stéphane De Greef (and a Facebook friend) captured this amazing video,
Belgium-born Stéphane De Greef (and a Facebook friend) captured this amazing video, "Predation on Large Millipedes and Self-Assembling Chains in Leptogenys Ants from Cambodia," which is now an Internet sensation. You can see it here: https://vimeo.com/133320687 (Copyright, Stéphane De Greef, All Rights Reserved)

Belgium-born Stéphane De Greef (and a Facebook friend) captured this amazing video, "Predation on Large Millipedes and Self-Assembling Chains in Leptogenys Ants from Cambodia," which is now an Internet sensation. You can see it here: https://vimeo.com/133320687 (Copyright, Stéphane De Greef, All Rights Reserved)

Stéphane De Greef points out a site. (© Anna Bella Betts)
Stéphane De Greef points out a site. (© Anna Bella Betts)

Stéphane De Greef points out a site. (© Anna Bella Betts)


"As a photographer, my main areas of interest are the natural beauty of people, Nature's amazing diversity and the darkest aspects of human societies," says Stéphane De Greef. (© Anna Bella Betts)

"As a photographer, my main areas of interest are the natural beauty of people, Nature's amazing diversity and the darkest aspects of human societies," says Stéphane De Greef. (© Anna Bella Betts)

Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 3:34 PM

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