Praying Mantis

I was peering at the bus stop display when something flew by and landed on the glass.

It was a large green praying mantis. I know them from Greece and Southern Europe but had never seen one in urban Switzerland.

Global warming perhaps?

I looked up mantis in Basel to send in the record in case anyone was interested, but instead of a wildlife recording site, I found papers from Basel University on how praying mantises have been observed eating humming birds and sucking their brains out!

To say I was surprised was an understatement . Apparently bird eating mantis are not the mantis religiosa of my bus stop encounter, but another species of mantis that has been introduced as pest control and are now actually eating North American hummingbirds.

You couldn’t make this stuff up!


16 thoughts on “Praying Mantis

  1. johnlmalone says:

    they are fascinating creatures and I can’t think why I haven’t written a poem about them when I’ve written so many on ants, dragonflies, spiders, willy wagtails …. maybe it’s time I tried. thanks for whetting my interest. Come to think of it, I can’t recall reading a single praying mantis poem 😦 great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thegardenbubbleblog says:

    Supercool! And in Basel too (our hometown – one of us has a master’s degree in Biology from Basel uni funnily enough). In Sweden we’d never catch one – there are no records. But once upon a time we worked as field-biologists in Nigeria – and spent many hours taking pics of them. Best tip to catch them is: rig a white bed sheet with a strong light behind (a light like the one in the moth-trap). It will lure everything flying down to perch on the sheet- and any mantis in the area will follow to feast on what you’re luring in (the sheet-trap is also a really cool way of catching night flying beetles)

    Liked by 1 person

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