Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Carolina mantis

with 28 comments

Carolina Mantis on Leaf 7054

From way back on July 7th at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center here’s a Carolina mantis, known scientifically as Stagmomantis carolina. Aren’t you intrigued by the ringed conical structures at its rear? I’m also intrigued by the thought that a praying mantis is a preying mantis.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 16, 2014 at 5:31 AM

28 Responses

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  1. Great shot, Steve. I always prefer an angular view and the mantis has provided that with this glance at the photographer…probably figuring how many meals you might provide.

    Steve Gingold

    September 16, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    • Yes, is this being the answer to my prayers?


      September 16, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    • It sure seems to be peering right at me, and I’ll agree that that glance and turned head do add to the photograph. When it comes to offering myself up as a bunch of meals, though, I’ll pass.

      Look at those math words: angular, figuring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2014 at 7:46 AM

  2. I do not think it prays for its prey, somehow. Although one never knows.


    September 16, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    • While preying is well within the scope of a mantis’s behavior—necessary for survival, after all—you have to be right that praying is outside the scope of a mantis’s mind.

      Your last words reminded me of the Beatles song “Tomorrow never knows.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2014 at 7:57 AM

  3. Awesome capture!


    September 16, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    • I appreciate your comment, bur WordPress didn’t and put it in the spam folder, where I just discovered it. I’m sorry for the delayed response.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 19, 2014 at 10:13 PM

  4. Gorgeous!


    September 16, 2014 at 7:23 AM

  5. These creatures are so important to the ecological balance. I adore them. They fascinate.


    September 16, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    • For all their importance, I somehow rarely see them, so this was a rare opportunity for me.

      Your use of the verb fascinate prompts me to quote the entry for that word in Webster’s dictionary of 1828:

      1. To bewitch; to enchant; to operate on by some powerful or irresistible influence; to influence the passions or affections in an incontrollable manner.

      None of the affections have been noted to fascinate and bewitch, but love and envy.

      2. To charm; to captivate; to excite and allure irresistible or powerfully. The young are fascinated by love; female beauty fascinates the unguarded youth; gaming is a fascinating vice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2014 at 8:04 AM

  6. Was für ein wundervolles Foto!!! ❤


    September 16, 2014 at 10:24 AM

  7. Charming green portrait! I’m always drawn to the eyes even though how nature designed this creature is very intriguing and fascinating but the eyes are the best part of it. Really superb shot!


    September 16, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    • Yes, the eyes have it, those wonderfully bulging eyes, and a green-on-green portrait it is. It’s good to see you so verdantly enthusiastic.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2014 at 1:28 PM

  8. And now I know a new word: cerci. I laughed when I saw the singular: cercus. I had a sudden vision of a whole troupe of mantises, executing their tricks in the meadow.


    September 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    • The word isn’t in my Latin dictionary so I looked it up in the American Heritage Dictionary and found that cercus is a New Latin (i.e Renaissance or more recent) word made from Greek kerkos, which meant ‘tail’. The fact that er and ir get pronounced the same in English lets your imagination make all the trips it wants to the big top.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2014 at 1:35 PM

  9. Stunning capture. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    September 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    • I’m just glad my presence was stunning enough to make the mantis stay still long enough for me to take pictures of it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2014 at 4:54 PM

  10. Love that pose!

    Susan Scheid

    September 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM

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