A few New Mexico Insects: Praying Mantises



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Praying mantises go through multiple growth stages ("instars") over the course of a year. I'm calling two of the mantises adults because they have wings. On some photos of mantises you can see stubs that will later become wings.


I took the photo labeled "Exuvia" late one evening. In the near-dark I saw a mantis and used my flash to get the picture. Once I expanded the image on my computer, I could see the ants. "Exuvia" (plural exuviae) is the word for the cast-off outer skin of arthropods. Apparently the mantis left enough edible stuff behind to interest the ants.


I took most of these photos in my back yard.