October Mantis

Mediterranean Mantis watching you

This afternoon I was walking down the path to a carpark near Sayalonga when I saw it. And it saw me and looked at me with serious doubt in its triangular pinpointed eyes.

 

I think this lovely little beast is a Mediterranean Mantis, Iris oratoria, on the basis of the relatively short cerci (the paired spikes on its back limbs) and eye shape, comparing it to internet images of this species. This seems annoyingly vague for a species that has a gigantic dead-give-away i.d. card – the enormous fake eyespot on its hindwings when flashed in defense. It looks something like this:

An adult female Iris oratoria in a deimatic or threat pose (by CaPro)

That’s a pretty good clue. But there is a reason this is CaPro’s shot via wikimedia commons and not mine. I like bugs. Even mantids. I feel privileged that this particular creature chose to give me a good hard stare, pose for a set of photos, sway like a leaf for a minute and, when I waved a boot to encourage it off the path to safety, shuttled promptly into the grasses. To get the threat pose from the creature I would need to … well, threaten it. But I hate baiting wildlife. It seems a dishonourable thing for a wildlife lover to do. So I shall have to state my best guess and leave it at that with nothing but a mantis’s hard stare between my conscience and perfect peace.

Dancing with its shadow

 

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Moths and Mantids

September and October are usually good walking and wildlife months. We have been a bit dry this autumn, though; just a small shower so far, though a good downpour is predicted before we pass mid-October. This dry spell may be why I haven’t seen quite as much wildlife as usual. These are some of the smaller beasts I might be expecting:

Milipede on the Cajula valley upper track
Milipede on the Cajula valley upper track
Adult ant-lion on the Collado Huerta Grande track
Adult ant-lion on the Collado Huerta Grande track

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praying Mantis, Árchez
Praying Mantis, Árchez

 

Praying Mantis, Cómpeta
Praying Mantis, Cómpeta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Tiger Moth, Canillas de Albaida
Mediterranean Tiger Moth, Canillas de Albaida

IF

 

 

Seen anything exciting this autumn?

  • Grasshopper
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