Friday, October 05, 2007

In praise of Iris oratoria

It was the first praying mantis I ever saw when I was 6. I was holding one in this picture. It's the mediterranen mantis, Iris oratoria. There aren't any in my yard, but there is a population of them at the arboretum.

This is the young male Iris I raised this summer.

He has recently reached adulthood, and must now be confined to a container or he'll fly away.

Here is an adult female Iris I found today.

She is smaller and has a more slender abdomen than the Stagmomantis limbata that I usually see in the yard

wrinkly neck!

I. oratoria has a distinctive spot on the underside of the abdomen, in both sexes.

I found a purple one once.
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