What’s buggin’ you today?

This post has nothing to do with creativity or making things, but seeing this not-so-little critter in my backyard really caught my interest:


Here’s another angle – if it’s blurry it’s because she (?) was on the move…


For perspective, those are 5″ laps on the siding.

I wish I’d been able to get its profile or face, but it sure looks like a brown praying mantis to me. But according to the map on that National Geographic site, this one is well north of his preferred location.

Who can tell me what might have drawn it to my yard? If you live in Northern Illinois, how often have you seen one of these insects – especially in an urban setting?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on August 13, 2013, in bugs, gardening, insects, praying mantis, summer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Paula Hendrickson

    That was indeed a praying mantis in my yard. A Chinese mantis, to be specific. The confirmation comes from Gary, a family friend, science teacher and someone who once had one as a pet. (Did I guess that right or what, Mark?) He said the Chinese mantis is pretty common around here, but are usually so well camouflaged we don’t notice them.

  2. A few years ago, sunning on the rail of my deck…a large brownish preying mantis.
    Then at another time, a large green one in a well known supermarket on top of the banana display. People, including me, decided against bananas that day.
    They are amazingly attention grabbers. Lol

    • A few years ago there the bag boy at a grocery store saw what I thought was a big green grasshopper on some celery I bought – he took it outside and set it free. Now that I think of it, it may have been a smaller mantis. Wouldn’t a grasshopper have hopped away when I picked up the celery and put it in my cart, or at some point during the ride through the store or the checkout process? But it didn’t move until the bag boy set it free.

  3. Patricia del Valle

    Hi Paula,
    I recently came upon a couple of articles about praying mantises (mantids) that have been imported somehow–not the smaller native ones. These non-native, large mantises attack hummingbirds. Horrors! I love and feed hummingbirds … happily anticipate their arrival in spring, and wish them a safe journey when they head south in October.

    I was flabbergasted. But the photos don’t lie. Anyway, my opinion of the mantis has drastically changed … and they are no longer welcome in my garden.

    P.S. Love your blog posts. Thank you for the ideas and fun info.


    • Paula Hendrickson

      Thanks for the information, Patricia. Flabbergasted, indeed!

      A nature-loving science teacher said the one in my yard was the Chinese variety that is common to our area. I sure hope it’s not the kind that prey on hummingbirds!

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