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And It Does Hurt!

  When I first moved out to Virginia, I ended up staying with the family of my boyfriend at the time. They had a small holding of eight acres that was down a shared driveway and secluded from the major roadway. Furthermore it was surrounded on two sides by wood, which provided the means to keep the family warm in autumn.

  Anyway there was a day when Pierre, the guy I was dating at the time, chose to cut down some trees that were threatening to topple on their old barn. The cutting down of the trees caused no problems nor the stacking up of the logs.

  Then one day I noticed as we were working that there was a small praying mantis standing on the stump. Curious about this interesting bug I moved up closer to take a look and hopefully move it out of the way of us "giants". As I reached out slowly towards it, it went into attack mode lol.

  I don't know whether I was bit or pinched but that was all the rescue effort that I chose to give this feisty little mantis. No matter how small they might seem, they can certainly take care of themselves. And I definately keep myself far away as possible from another encounter :)

Dormantdrakon Dormantdrakon 22-25, F 17 Responses Nov 16, 2009

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I got bitten when i tried to pick up a large green mantis to take a closer look. I had a sock on one hand it bit thru that and took a tiny piece out of a finger. It did really hurt. Still my worst bite is an assassin bug on my left foot. It was like a continuous cigarette burn for 4 hours

i got attacked by one it didint hurt at all i just got suprised but it trided to eat me

I'm Lillianna, I'm new to this blogging stuff but found this one quit interesting. I have discovered that there are about 20 baby praying mantis' in my backyard-ish porch in Germantown, TN. I found them today when me and my sister wereblowing up some floaties. They were swarming her chair, when I got close 1 or 2 jumped at me and freaked me out. So i went to google them and became very interested in them :)

i caught a female praying mantis the other day and I am thrilled to have her as a pet now! She has pinched me a couple of times, but on the whole she is very placid and is content to sit on my hand ,under my lamp, as I work at my computer! She is eating mealworms and doing very well!

Insectlady, you definately have some stories to tell and I haven't taken a look into your stories but if you haven't shared them I think that you should. They are very inspiring, nature loving, generous, funny and educational. You definately have a lifetime behind your stories my friend.<br />
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I haven't had much experience with wild insects except fireflies, cicadas and the spitting grasshoppers that seemed to abound within KS. And I have been fortunate only once to see a wild Luna moth but unfortunate that it was dead since they are so gorgeous *sighs*<br />
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But you definately seemed to have done such a great speech, I would have loved to have heard what you teacher made up for his/her excuse to get away from you lol.

I fell in love with insects when I was 3 when butterflies started landing on my hands. I was fortunate that my parents loved nature, and they found interesting animals and put them in fish tanks into our house. We had a field mouse and tarantulas in the tanks for a while, and an occasional box turtle moving around the house until it became illegal to do so. <br />
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My mother worked with textiles and decided to start raising wild American silk moths one summer when I was about 5. She ordered some cocoons of Cecropia Moths and Bombyx mori, the Asian silk moth that produces the silk that is used industrially around the world. My father photographed the moths emerging, laying eggs, and then took pictures of the caterpillars as they grew, and pupated. My parents enjoyed this so much, that they continued raising 200 Cecropia caterpillars/ year for the next 20 years. In addition, we had fish tanks of Mourning Cloak Butterflies one year, and raised individual Monarch Caterpillars and also raised Luna and Polyphemus and Ailanthus Moths too. My parents are now dead, and I now own all of my late father, Philip Bergh's, 2000 insect slides. And, I have the life cycles of each these insects among his slides. <br />
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When I came along, I became fascinated with all insects, but was especially interested in Praying Mantises. One year, Mom suggested I bring them in before the first frost so we could see how long they would live inside. I would feed each mantis chunks of raw meat and let it drink out of a spoon every day. This became a tradition at our house for many years, for we all enjoyed having them around the house!<br />
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I had one female live way past Thanksgiving Day, and used her in a speech I had to make in a Speech class I was taking. The topic was "insect phobias" and my attention getter was taking a praying mantis out of a box and putting her on my hand. This mantis was very aged and weak, and didn't walk very far anymore, but that didn't matter. My speech teacher knocked over several chairs and ran three rows back away from me and my mantis, whom we had named "Lady Brownie". I got an "A" on the speech, and my teacher proved that folks still had insect phobias back in the late 1960's!

I tend to stay away from spiders for they just freak me out a little too much although I used to collect them when I was little. Mainly I think it is the fact that there are a few that can hurt me while I don't know which ones are hovering around when I do see one.<br />
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Furthermore thank you for the lesson Insectlady on them for they are interesting while there are also species, perhaps the Orientals, that are very beautiful as well. Sadly we can only see them in pictures. My favorite predatory bug is of course the Dragonfly, which is a lot more docile than a Praying Mantis, which is my second choice.<br />
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If you don't mind me asking what got you into insects and bringing Praying Mantises into your home?

Yes, praying mantises will watch you when you try to take photos of them. They are predators, and watch everything that moves around them, and hope that it will be tasty meal! <br />
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I too have seen the photo of a mantis eating a hummingbird. It probably was a Chines Mantis female which can be about 6 inches long. <br />
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Because a female mantises are eating to store nutrients for all of the 100 eggs she will be laying in her egg case, she is a voracious eater. She will catch eat many large insects and other small animals she finds every day. One person who had an adult female in captivity [who hadn't made her egg case yet], wrote her eating about 5 bees and several crickets in just one morning of hunting! <br />
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It is nice to find other folks who love praying mantises too. Praying mantises are fascinating and intelligent predators, and predatory insects are the smartest of the insects. It is the same for Jumping Spiders, who are the most intelligent and reactive of the spiders.

I will have to definately check her out Insectlady and thanks!<br />
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Perhaps Lilt I am not looking in the right place for mantises but in my twenty-odd years I have maybe only seen two in real life so they are kinda rare for me. But it definately sounds like the majority of them are camera-shy lol.<br />
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Grunt, I hadn't heard about anything about them taking down birds before but it doesn't surprise me with the exception of a hummingbird, which are fast. Must have been an interesting experience to watch for the photographer.

I have lots of mantises in the last few years. They hang out in my evergreen clematis vine. They are very playful , yet aggressive. And they really hate to be photographed. Whoa, they have tried to beat up my camera!

I have put a picture of the female who munched on me at my profile in the BB with praying mantises album.

Yes, I do have picture of her! There aren't many mantises anymore, so I haven't held any but newly emerged ones in some years now. Every year I order 3 egg cases, and release the babies in my yard, but I have only seen one 2nd instar mantis and one adult female Carolina Mantis in the last 5 years or so. I'd post the photo of the mantis who bit me here, but I don't see a place to do it....

That is definately a story Insectlady for this group and I am glad that it was you not me for I would have been throwing a fit lol. I hope that your Dad was able to get his picture after that for you definately made a sacrifice on that one.<br />
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I haven't been able to get myself to pick up another praying mantis since my experience but then again I haven't seen many praying mantises since then. Good luck and I hope that you have many more good experiences with these insects!

My Dad was photographing an adult female who was particularly defensive and on my hand. Dad was trying to get a side view of her in the attack mode, but she was turning around with him as he tried to get the side view photo of her. I lifted up my little finger on my other hand to distract her, and got too close to her, and she grabbed it and started biting me and eating my skin near the cuticle! We finally had to give her a piece of meat to chew on to get her to let go of my finger! I let her finish eating the piece of meat, but never picked up this particular mantis again.<br />
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I still love praying mantises and I still love to hold them whenever I can. I have never again had any other mantis who was as aggressive as she was.

DMSi they are certainly tough. I have seen three adult guys freaking out a nice sized Mantis which they tried running over, stomping on and hitting with a bottle. If it wasn't mixed with a cat I would hate to know where it got its lives.<br />
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Captainhot I don't know if they can hide out in Canada but I would definately keep an eye out. And AnarchistAlex I am with you on staying away lol!

Holy crap! They have those in North America?!?! YIKES! I hope Canada is too cold for 'em! They are freaky little things...

I've never been attacked by one but I can attest they are tough little critters. I saw one on the roof of my car one night after work and it was still clinging to the roof after I arrived home. Its not a long drive home but it couldnt have been easy clinging on at 35 mph.