Friday, July 24, 2009

I didn't mean to...

break his antennae. I saw this Praying Mantis on our iron gate, but although the subject was very interesting, the background wasn't so I put on a garden glove and gently picked him up to move him to a better location...I didn't know those things can fly! And then he had to go and land on my leg. We both survived but he was a little worse for wear. In the last image he has grabbed a broken antenna in his front legs and mandible (do these insects have mandibles?) so zoom in for a better look. I hope he can re-grow it. I guess Larry gets all the pretty insects over on his side of town and I get the less attractive ones, though I do think Praying Mantises are carnivorous and eat mosquitoes so he can stay.

Camera info: Nikon D200, 60mm macro lens with +2 closeup filter, at f3.2 and 4.0, ISO 400

Post processing: increased exposure, blacks and clarity in ACR, in Photoshop duplicated the background layers in softlight at 50% or less, sharpened with the Edge and the Highpass filter in softlight


  1. I believe this is a walking stick, not a praying mantis. I don't see its arms in praying position nor are the ends made for grasping.

    The 1st photo with it looking up at you has the most interest. I would have liked to see a straight on shot of its head. I'm sure it would have posed for you, before you broke its antenae.


  2. Cindi, do feel too badly. At least it survived. The three images do show the results of your encounter. I like the diagonal elements.

  3. Wayne, I hope you meant I should NOT feel too badly! It was certainly unintentional...
    And Doug I wondered if it could be a walking stick too, but looked on Wikipedia and they had brown Praying Mantises, and it seemed to me this insect's hands were sometimes in a praying position, but it also looked too thin, so I just don't know.

  4. I did a little research and it appears you are right. The mantis has the eyes on top of his head (evidenced by its looking up at you in the photo) where the walking stick has two small sets of eyes, one on each side of its body.

    I think Wayne meant to say "Don't feel too badly". I'm the one who tried to make you feel guilty in my last sentence.

  5. Good series of macro shots. I really like the color combination of the "bug" versus the leaves.