Did you eat already?

This afternoon while talking to The Girlfriend in the garage, I heard the strident ratcheting sound of a captured cicada, very close by – like within a few meters. I went out into the driveway and immediately found the source, since they had cooperatively performed this drama right in the driveway, good light and everything. Not just an opportunity for photos, but video as well. Which tells you more than you ever wanted to know about me.

One of the resident Chinese mantises (Tenodera sinensis) had captured an annual cicada (genus Neotibicen, possibly Neotibicen canicularis,) and said cicada was protesting loudly. This was not in any way deterring the mantis which, as they do, started right in on the meal. You have been warned.

The Girlfriend was nearby but not watching as I captured the video, so she didn’t see the details until I finished the editing, but her review of the footage consisted largely of, “That’s gross.” Repeatedly.

I mention the background noise in there, since I didn’t have time to get the proper video mic but I doubt it would have improved matters in any way – that’s what you get in a suburban neighborhood in early afternoon: chainsaws and crows. It’s been worse, and I didn’t include the clip where a helicopter passed overhead.

I went out sometime later and found no traces of either, even though I’d witnessed a wing get discarded, so whether this was later consumed or blew away I can’t say. I wanted to see how much the mantis’ girth had increased.

It’s possible that this is the same mantis as number three here, since the size, markings, and coloration are all the same, and this occurred about six to eight meters away from last sighting, but with mantises, who knows? Still haven’t found a way to differentiate them.

I can’t neglect one of the still frames I took in between clips.

Chinese mantis Tenodera sinensis with head buried within body cavity of still-living annual cicada Neotibicen
I couldn’t resist this one, nor could I resist calling it, “Look, I’m a cicada!” Hey, this is how nature works (though, granted, I don’t really have to make it worse I guess.)

But yeah, productive day, anyway. And I still have images from previous days to get together.

« [previous]
[next] »