Thursday, August 23, 2007

Insect Food Chain

Remember the writing spider of a few weeks ago that we fed in our front yard? Well, it is still there and it has two new neighbors. Two more writing spiders are on their own webs to the right and left of the original. wow. Our newly tropical climate must be making our area prime real estate for heat loving spiders. I wish I could get a picture that includes all three but haven't been successful so far; could be the sweat pouring off me that's blurring my vision. We did see another very cool bug eating its brunch in another part of the yard today - a praying mantis eating a cicada. At least, that's what Gillen and I think they are. We have ten bird guides, books about reptiles, amphibians, spiders, wild cats even but none about insects, and we have to run to soccer. Any entomologists or bug enthusiasts out there?


8 comments:

diana-still-evolving said...

Emerging from 17 years of hibernation, eager to sing the ancient cicada song, only to be eaten by a mantis!
Dang, I thought my life sucked :D

janefrances said...

What great pictures! I've never seen a praying mantis eating or brown.

janefrances said...

What great pictures! I've never seen a praying mantis eating or brown.

Madeline said...

The color's what makes me wonder if it is a praying mantis. I think it is. I'll get a book at the library next visit. Good to see you here Jane!

Diana, LOL! I hadn't viewed it that way. I found out today that cicadas have a very short life so it's good that this one's was put to such good use, from the PM perspective anyway.

Stephanie said...

Could it be a walking stick?
Steph in slc

Danielle said...

Yup, that's a mantis. We have tons of them up here in both green and brown. They're wonderful bugs, but supposedly they eat too slowly to be of too much help in pest management. Too bad.

We love our bugs here and must have at least five different id books. I can't believe you don't have even one! We want to buy some of those lucite bug boxes with magnifying tops to start keeping our bugs, dead ones that is. In fact, I think I'll order those today.

Madeline said...

We have had those boxes and different versions of them over the years. Such a good tool. I like the web site you linked to and will have to check that out more. The kids have been so into reptiles and birds...and have only ever taken out bird and snake and reptile guides (to supplement the ones we have) from the library. We have bug books but they are all in the barn for the the farmer's use of the insect food chain at the farm. We need to buy some for the kids. They've been deprived!

Vicki said...

very cool shot of him eating!