The Tiny Boxer Mantis
When I first spotted it, I thought that it was a tiger beetle, as it ran about in little spurts. It was only after peering through the lens that it’s identity was confirmed (yes… that small). When it was not doing it’s march, it would be practicing it’s “punches”, alternating between extending either “arms”. An absolute delight to observe!
#1 First sighted trudged into the moss on the rocks
#2 The super arched abdomen gives it a somewhat majestic pose
#3 It was also waving it’s body to and fro, really restless!
#4 All ready for a punchout
#5 And it begins! Non-stop punching as it looked up at me
#6 For a moment… they really resembled crab claws!
#7 Animation of the 1-2 punching action
#8 And the side jab
#9 Can’t get enough of the side view
#10 A shy portrait
#11 Final punch!
Spent a lot of time observing this boxer mantis, so just a few other subjects to share from this trip. 🙂
#12 A more common praying mantis devouring a prey. Easily over 5 times the length of the boxer mantis.
#13 Beautiful turquoise coloured tiger beetle running on the same row of rocks
The following shots are of the larva (caterpillar) of the Day Flying Moth (Pompelon marginata). Thanks to Horace from Butterfly Circle for the ID. Read on for the interesting defence mechanism of this caterpillar!
#14 The caterpillar is lumpy, about an inch long and of a very smooth and clean cream colour
#15 That’s how it looks from above
#16 It got very active after some shooting, and started crawling all over the place, onto the trunk of a tree! Notice the 2 little blobs of liquid at the tip? More info in the next picture…
#17 It didn’t stop moving, so I tried giving it a soft blow to simulate some wind, as many insects tend to stop for a while when they experience sudden wind. Immediately after sensing the wind, this cute little fella contracted, and squeezed out little droplets of liquid from each of it’s spikes! The little liquid droplets lasted for less than 5 seconds before drying up (or maybe it just got sucked back in) so I only had a single blur record shot of this phenomenon. Still, it was a beautiful yet surprising sight!
Just a side note, that the Day Flying Moth is known to secrete liquids as forms of defence – it would be wise not to assume that the liquid droplets are simply H2O.
The complete album can be viewed here.