European Mantis or the Banded Centipede, Who Is The Boss?

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Tonight I spotted both a European Mantis and Banded Centipede in the same location. The Banded Centipede was just a small youngster and the European Mantis a fully grown adult. I grabbed my phone and started to record in case their paths crossed.

Both are serious predators in their own world but due to the Banded Centipede only being a youngster would it be an easy snack for the Mantis? I’ve often wondered who would be king of the predator if the two ever crossed paths.

If you’re looking for a big fight scene then you’re not in luck as both go their own way, however, I was still surprised, take a look for yourself. Of course, there may have been some activity before I got there as the Mantis did look unusually un-mantis-like. Maybe the Centipede had already bitten it beforehand. It’s almost as if they respected each others status of killer predator but I’d still say the Centipede had the upperhand!

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An Aggressive Mantis

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Yesterday morning I was cleaning one of the terraces here at the Quinta and noticed a female Preying Mantis under the lip one of the steps. It was a warm December day and assumed she was laying an egg sack, called an Ootheca. She actually wasn’t so as I needed to hose down the area I decided to move her. I have relocated many Mantises by picking them up and they usually stand their ground but this lady was having none of it. She immediately went I to full defence mode and started to grab my fingers with her Raptorial Legs. As you can see in the photos she even opened her wings to make her look scary but actually I think made her look more pretty!

All photos were shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ Smartphone.


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A Stunning Green & Pink Conehead Mantis

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Tonight there was a call from the kitchen; “Craig, there’s a big Mantis on the window”. I went to look and it was a Conehead Mantis outside catching all the small flies being attracted to the kitchen light.

I grabbed my camera and it flew to the table on the terrace where I was able to grab a shot of it. There are a lot of different tiny young Mantis around the garden at this time of year as they hatch from their egg sacks (remember this post of a baby last year?), but this one was a fully grown adult at around 8cm long. This is a male as the female lacks the feathery antennae.


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Conehead Mantis at Night

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I was in the garden tonight and spotted something in the corner of my eye on one of our up-lit Palm Trees.

It was a female Conehead Mantis (Empusa pennata) busy catching all the pesky mosquitoes that we currently have.

I loved the way she would look at me when I approached her and also the way the LED light was lighting her. So a quick run for the camera, 50mm and a tripod and took the shot below.

The Conehead Mantis grows to around 10cm long (the male slightly smaller), this one was around 7cm. This is easily recognised as a female due to the male having feathered antennae.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Conehead Mantis - D810, AF 50mm f/1.8 @ 50mm, f/8, ISO400, 1.3sec - {Flickr Link}

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