Sympathy For The Devil- Lady Mantis In The Garden

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Female Mantis on Mexican Honeysuckle (David Newsom Photography, All Rights Reserved)

A little while back, I wrote about the decimation of the Monarch butterfly population in my garden at the hands of a Chinese Mantis.  Well, behold the lady in question, all three inches of her. With huge spiked claws 1/3 her body length and wide-set eyes with a binocular field of vision, this non-native, invasive lady is built to kill.

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Detail- Female Mantis on Mexican Honeysuckle (David Newsom Photography, All Rights Reserved)

And so, as much as I hate her for her impact on the already struggling Monarch migration, I must admit, she’s terrifyingly cool to stare at…especially given the hair raising way she stares back.

5 thoughts on “Sympathy For The Devil- Lady Mantis In The Garden”

  1. This is so great to know! I have praying mantis’s in my back yard and I just started a milkweed garden with seeds. I went back to read about the house of Charles and have learned a lot. Might need to give you a call. Why can’t it ever just be easy?!?! I thought I’d just start some seeds and help the monarchs.

  2. Well, nature is a messy and complicated place, isn’t it? Actually, planting the milkweed and getting the monarchs to come, lay eggs and become caterpillars is easy. The hard part, for the Caterpillar at least, is growing up to become a butterfly and making the migration. How much of a role you want to play in that aspect is up to you.

  3. Your photos are so amazing. And your struggle over intervention reminds me of the many questions I’ve faced with beekeeping. Do I protect them from predators or do I let nature take her course? Always a difficult decision.

  4. Thanks, Erik. When i set out to create this garden, I wasn’t prepared for the level of brutality I’d be faced with. It’s a violent place, a garden. Of course, you’ve got to look really closely to see it…

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