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Old Aug 6, 2007, 6:26 PM   #1
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I saw this guy while taking skipper shots. I had stacked lenses for the skipper, and went to remove one. Then a Tiger Swallowtail came so I figured to shoot that since the mantis was not going anywhere fast. When I turned back to shoot him he had caught a bee.
1. Holding a live bee.


2. Rip it's head off, that will kill it.


3. Then a nice slow meal.


4. Nothing gets wasted except the wings, which were dropped to the ground.


5. Ready for the next victim.


FZ7, Nikon 3T and/or 4T lenses used. ISO 80, f/8, 1/2000 second with flash. I thought about getting a tissue for a diffuser, but he was eating so fast I did not dare leave him.

(Edited to add) I forgot to mention. Clicking on any picture should take you to my yard and garden flickr set, which has some stuff seen here, and lots that has not been here.
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Old Aug 6, 2007, 8:39 PM   #2
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Steve this is a terrific example of nature photography. Gruesome but that is how nature is at this level. Thanks for sharing this with us.
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Old Aug 6, 2007, 11:12 PM   #3
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rafinmelb wrote:
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Steve this is a terrific example of nature photography. Gruesome but that is how nature is at this level. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Glad you liked it. He or she was a good subject. The breeze was coming in and the plants were moving, but the mantis moved quite slow. Except, they chew very fast I discovered. I had some blurry mandible shots. I have a lot of young mantis shots I never bothered to post, but this guy is half grown and was most impressive. I am going to have to keep an eye out to see if one of them grabs a butterfly. Now that would make for some impressive shots.
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Old Aug 7, 2007, 8:13 AM   #4
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Those are cool shots happy! That bee didn't have a chance!
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Old Aug 7, 2007, 10:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for looking and commenting vaiboy. Do you have any mantids there. They do make nice subjects. I watched him a bit today but he did not do much exciting stuff. I did let him crawl on my arm once and moved him from a high traffic area. He was not concerned.

I would like to get some sharper shots of him if he or another would sit in a place where I could be steadier. But the bees and other insects they hunt are in flowers at the top of four foot phlox plants, which makes it hard.
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Old Aug 7, 2007, 11:55 PM   #6
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In the past year I have only seen a couple of them here.A large green one that I got a few shots of and a very tiny brown one that I saw at workwhen my camera was at home. We had lots of them around whenI was a kid though.
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Old Aug 8, 2007, 9:33 PM   #7
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Very nice series, Steve. We only recently are starting to see insects that were plentiful when I was a kid. I could name a few of them, insects, birds, and even trees. Here in our area, we attibute it to aerial spraying of the sugar cane fields, which began back in the late 50's, early 60's.
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Old Aug 8, 2007, 10:26 PM   #8
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bayourebel wrote:
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Very nice series, Steve. We only recently are starting to see insects that were plentiful when I was a kid. I could name a few of them, insects, birds, and even trees. Here in our area, we attibute it to aerial spraying of the sugar cane fields, which began back in the late 50's, early 60's.
Thanks for commenting. These are not common. I saw one last year and there must have been at least two since I found an egg case by the fence. The big yard next door is rather overgrown and I think they appeared there somehow. My lot is only 25 feet wide and on the rare occasions I find egg cases during the winter I have resisted bringing them home since I don't think I have enough room and food for them. However, now that I know they can eat bumblebees that may change.
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Old Aug 9, 2007, 10:10 AM   #9
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Gruesome but great photography Steve.
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Old Aug 11, 2007, 6:51 AM   #10
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Quite an amazing sequence Steve. Nature isn't always pretty but always fascinating.
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