- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Oh, to be a praying mantis, and hide among the flowers waiting for prey.
On a warm sunny morning in Vacaville, Calif., this female Stagmomantis limbata positioned herself in a patch of Mexican sunflowers, Tithonia rotundifola.
She lurked beneath a blossom, camouflaged with the green leaves and stems. She groomed herself. It's important to wash up before breakfast and be presentable at the breakfast table and say your prayers.
Then she spotted a honey bee.
Ms. Mantis climbed the stem and peered over the orange petals.
What happened next? Spoiler alert, no breakfast for Ms. Mantis.
Later, though, another mantis hanging out in a nearby rosebush snagged and ate a small fly and a slow milkweed bug. Satiated, she crawled beneath a leaf, perhaps to digest her breakfast and sleep. You could say she "rose" to the occasion, or you could just say she was hungry.