letting nature back in

at home and further afield


Praying mantis

Masters of disguise: Praying mantis roundup

As praying mantises are so fascinating, here is a roundup of the five species of praying mantises that I have been able to photograph in our garden.

Continue reading “Masters of disguise: Praying mantis roundup”

In the pink: Flower mantids in the garden

My next-door neighbour told me about these mantids in a rose bush in his garden. Three of them have taken up residence in a pink-flowering rosebush and have been there for over a week. Continue reading “In the pink: Flower mantids in the garden”

Getting acquainted with a leaf mantis

I spotted this mantis on an Arum lily plant only by chance. I had been photographing small beetles that were pollinating the flower when I glanced down and saw this interesting little creature. Usually, we only see the green African Mantis around, so it was special to see this small mantis, commonly called a leaf mantis or a ghost mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa). Continue reading “Getting acquainted with a leaf mantis”

The perfect host: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 2

Perfect hosts are hard to find. Processionary caterpillars only accept hospitality from a handful of host plants. One of these is the Cross-berry, which the caterpillars return to each year, in our suburban garden. In turn, the perfect host also accommodates the predatory birds and insects that are attracted to the caterpillars, including the iridescent male African Emerald Cuckoo pictured above. Continue reading “The perfect host: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 2”

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