WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – BIG CYPRESS WMA, FL
This photo is of a Carolina Mantid that was taken at the Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area in Collier County, Florida. This is a remarkable insect that I was fortunate enough to observe. While walking along a trail I noticed a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. It landed and I went to take its picture. All of a sudden it was impaled by this Carolina Mantid, which I did not immediately see due to its ability to camouflage itself, and which promptly started to devour it! The camera gear used in this photo was a Nikon D90 body and a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 lens.
The Carolina Mantid (Stagmomantis carolina) grows to a length of approximately 2 3/8 inches. Its appearance is pale green or brownish gray. In the Carolina Mantid, the long front pair of legs are held bent, as if in prayer. The neck of the Carolina mantid is very flexible as it can turn in all directions. The wings are shorter than the abdomen. The habitat for the Carolina Mantid is shrubs found in fields, and gardens.