Today is Black Friday, a day that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It's reportedly the busiest shopping day of the year.
But to us, today is Green Friday, in recognition of a female green praying mantis,Stagmomantis limbata.occupying a rib of a tall green cactus in our Vacaville garden. This is not her "busiest shopping day" of the year.
Ms. Mantis is not praying or preying. She is resting. She is clinging to a Pachycereus marginatus, also known as a "Mexican fence post."
She's the last of the season. She's already deposited her egg case, an ootheca, and she's about to expire.
Ms. Mantis peers at me with her super-duper 3-D vision. She can turn her triangular-shaped head 180 degrees. She's an ambush predator and a strikingly fast predator at that. She can nail a bee, fly or butterfly with her spiked forelegs in about 50 to 70 milliseconds.
But not now.
She is resting. She is the last of the season.
It's Green Friday.
Author - Communications specialist