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Praying mantis with prey

On one of the last beautiful late summer days I found a praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) on the wayside in the Kaiserstuhl. The specimen was not particularly large, but just as voracious as its larger relatives on the Mediterranean and in the tropics.

The Mantis
The Mantis sits on a warm marking stone and waits for her victims...
The victim
The Mantis has chosen the place well, the smell of a piece of dog shit attracts masses of flies...
For the time being she still poses for the photographer...
...and waits until something approaches...
The prey approaches
A fly is almost in range...
...on the other side.
Flies are quite fast. When she approaches the prey, the mantis moves very slowly and swaying like a grass in the wind.
...and away
The fly from the previous picture just escaped. The mantis was too slow to grab.
Close enough
This fly has about 3 seconds to live.
With the lightning-like snap of her gripping arms, she has caught the fly and immediately leaves the stone...
The meal
In the shade and between green plants, where she can be seen worse herself, she eats the fly with relish. The chewing tools of the mantis were probably the model for the "alien".
...almost eaten up
It does not take very long until the fly is completely eaten.
And right to the next victim
She is already looking for the next victim while the bowels of the fly are still hanging in the corners of her mouth.

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Erik Krause
Herchersgarten 1
D-79249 Merzhausen
e-Mail: Erik Krause

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