Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bark Sprouts Legs

Yesterday I went to go scrape the white paint band off of an old RCW cavity tree when a piece of unpainted bark got up and walked out of the path of my bark knife. Yeah, I was surprised, too. Do you see it?

Here's a better look:

It turns out this piece of legged bark has a name: the Grizzled Mantis (Gonatista grisea). It kept skittering in a quick crab-walk around the trunk as I chased it in circles with my camera. I did manage a few more pictures:

In retrospect, I should've cornered it and harassed it more. The result is this spectacular display.

I hadn't realized there were such crazy-looking mantids in the US. I'll have to dig out and share some pictures of even crazier tropical mantis species that I used to keep.


  1. That must have been startling!

    I like the display picture you linked to. The mantis looks like he's rocking out to some great music.

  2. Wow, great find!

    In the top photo, I think I also see a moth about a third of the way down.

  3. Perfectly camouflaged. Didn't see it at all at first.

  4. That is pretty crazy. I agree, you should've harassed it more. Could've been quite the show hahah.

  5. How did you spot it?