Pepper guard mantis dailies

Chew Toy McCoy

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These guys sure blend right in with the plant, don't they? Took me a minute to find this little chap today!

And most of the pictures I post are cropped down to make it easier. When I'm looking for him it's like a green monochrome Where's Waldo? ;)
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Clix Pix

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Some years ago on Nikon Cafe a member who lives in New Zealand one day discovered a Praying Mantis clinging to the drapes in his living room. He was charmed and decided to let this interesting creature be, having noted that there seemed to be something wrong with one leg/foot. Well....he was more than disconcerted when his houseguest eventually presented him with a whole family of little Mantises, having deposited eggs here-and there on the drapes and in other places around the house. Oops....!!!.

To make a long story short for the next year or so this member kept all of us on the Cafe amused by posting updates on the adventures of his now permanent female resident and he gave her a name..... He actually wrote a short book about her, too.

So yes, Chew Toy: giving your little resident a name (Waldo or maybe Walda?) and creating a blog or just posting updates on here would be so much fun!
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I was going to post this pic this morning and say it looks like one more molt and they will be fully an adult because you can see the little wing buds starting to form on the lower back.

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Then I went out a couple hours later and it looks like that’s exactly what happened. The wings are starting to extend after the last molt. I kind of kept my distance with this pic because right after they molt their exoskeleton is still soft and if they fall it will dry in the position they land, almost always a death sentence. So I didn’t want to spook him.

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Chew Toy McCoy

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Wings fully developed. They’re not really good fliers, more of a quick distance escape strategy or they’ll open them to look bigger as part of their threat display.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Wow, almost missed you, Waldo! You DO have a way of blending right in with your environment!

He really does like like an extension of the pepper plant branches.

I mentioned somewhere, possibly in another thread if not this one, that the black dots that look like pupils are an optical illusion. They always look like they are looking right at the camera. I think this is the first time I got a looking straight ahead photo that shows that well. It almost makes him look cartoonish.
 
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