Canon 30D, handheld
Mamiya 80mm w/ extension tube at f16
1/200 second at ISO 250
Metz 40MZ-3i w/ diffuser/reflector

Chinese mantis Tenodera sinensis on rosemary plant

I have... a lot of photos of mantids, mostly the Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) – any exact count would likely be wrong at the time you read this, but safe to say it numbers in the thousands of images right now. This is largely due to witnessing several hatchings right outside my door, and watching them grow up. So believe me when I say that I made efforts not to overload the website galleries with them, which isn't to say that there aren't too many as it is.

But sometimes, I feel obligated to feature the more expressive images, such as this juvenile posing on one of the rosemary bushes. This one was less than half adult size, though I have shots where the mantis actually blends in among the leaves, in shape and coloration – gives you an idea of the size difference from newborn to adult.

Meanwhile, we can only imagine what kind of awe-inspiring sight greeted this one as it emerged from the thick jungle...