A European Mantis near Potter Pond on some Montauk Daisies. The spot on the inside of the upper arm is clearly visible. In my experience, the Chinese Mantis seems to be far more common in RI. In the second photo it caught a Honey Bee.
Collected on September 20th, but photographed in captivity while mating on September 24th. The female and male had both been well fed. Female decapitated the male during mating and consumed about 2/3 of his body.
captured on a day when I witnessed more praying mantises and more banded argiope spiders in one place than in all the places and all the days of my life before!!!
Not so fast, this Mantis was a fighter from the word go. The Argiope that had it captured, was formidable indeed, but was unable to wrap her silk around the Mantis despite her speed and adept spinning. The Mantis battled back and refused to be an instant victim of the huge and dangerous spider. I broke down and freed the Mantis, shame shame on me!!! I just couldn't see such a fighter be dashed on the web of a venomous arachnid who already had her meal sewn up in a huge grasshopper captured not long before the Mantis became snagged!
Two Mantises face off with an uncertain outcome. One holds the prey, a hapless grasshopper, caught in the mighty grip of the thinner less daunting of the mantises. The other holds its "arms" outstretched in an apparent threat or defensive posture.