Saturday, August 9, 2008

In search of a praying mantis...

Detective Doozey and I started out this morning heading to a sort of forested area near our house to search for the alusive mantis in south Florida. was driving on the road where I thought this county area was located...and...well...never found it. LOL. What road did I see this place on??? I've only been there like 5 times already. In my and Detective Doozeys defense, my husband has just told me that it is easy to miss, and is not marked very well. I feel so much relief that I will not need a CAT scan of my brain...I mean it was I, not the other detective, who was driving...and she is really bad at navigational skills!

We decided to visit a dog park instead, where absolutely NO mantis hunting was done...only frivolous play, running, and jumping!

After we got back home, I let the doggy detective go in the house for some water and relaxation, while my trusted camera and I went around the yard searching in all the bushes...quietly at first, then rather aggresively...and HERE IS WHAT I FOUND:

In the underside of this wheelbarrow I saw a bunch of squirming little things. On closer inspection I believe they are tadpoles. They were only in the water in this middle section. I decided it would be fun to take some of this water and little sqirmies in a jar to my kitchen window to observe. I put some of the dead vegetation in the water also, to make it a perfect habitat for the little guys.

In the bottom of the jar...about dead center, in the bottom pic you can see a sort of straight little line...that is one of the squirmies!!! I will cover the top of the jar with a bit of nylon stocking so I will not come home one day to frogs jumping around in my kitchen!

I found some tendrils:

Some grape-like bunches hanging on my fence!

I found spores on the underside of my fern leaves! I have always had a fascination with fern spores! I giving you too much weird information about myself???

Some really beautiful dead frilly plant material!

Several ladybugs,

And a wasp or two.

A needle-like dragonfly! Click on pic to see better.

And of course, some flowers.

But in and amongst the flowers...

I never did find even one Mantid. Now I am off to do some research on what happened to the populations of Mantis life that used to exist here...(I know, cause I once found a brown "Walking Stick" in my very own backyard as a child). Since then, I have never seen one. Oh...on a side note...I asked my neighbor (who is in his 40's) and who is a horticulture guy if he ever sees any in his sprinkler business...and he said, "Oh, the last time I saw one of those was in a cartoon when I was a kid"! He grew up here too. Hmmmmmmm.....


Cindy said...

Good grief, girl. Those aren't tadpoles! I can't really tell what it is, but it's not a tadpole. Go do a google search for tadpole images, you'll see. Then do a search for images of mosquito larvae to make sure that's not what your "squirmies" are.

Sorry you didn't find any mantids today. Thanks for trying, though, and just keep a lookout for them. I bet you'll find one eventually.

Julie said...

LOL Cindy!!! Ha ha I know what these darn things are??? ha ha ha....the answer is NO...but they sure are big to be mosquito larvae...I will spray them with roach killer if thats what they are! LOL. OK...I will have to go try and find out...I was just gonna sort of watch them a I'm scared!!!

Cindy said...

(taking another look at your photos, squinting hard..)

OK, maybe I'm not really sure what I'm looking at. Or how big it is. That "little line". Does it have a head? Because that looks a little tadpole-ish. If you use a magnifying glass can you make out eyes? A little sucker-mouth?

soulbrush said...

i would keep watching it, you never know it may turn into a handsome prince! (guess who spends too much time with nursery kiddies?) now i have to go and look up what a 'mantid' is, cos i never heard of them!

Teri C said...

These are some really great shots!! Those fern spores are fascinating.

Aiyana said...

Tadpoles look like sperm from the first day you can see them, and then stay that way as they grow. Eventually the legs start sprouting out. I know you have already ID'd these things, so just remember the next time you want tadpoles, look for spermy things.