Battleship-shaped Ootheca

November 14th, 2011 - 6:41 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

31mm long | July 6, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I saw quite a few of these oddly shaped things. My guess would be that they are the oothecae (egg masses) of a praying mantis. I’ve read that each species of praying mantis has a distinctive looking ootheca. After quite a bit of searching, I’ve been unable to find one that looks quite like this.

This one was on some sort of succulent plant, but I found others on tree trunks and various other plants.

Another view

Crypsis Challenge #14 Reveal: Bark Mantis

October 1st, 2011 - 9:07 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

Did you rise to the latest crypsis challenge and spot the bark mantis in the photo? If not, take another look with the help of my crude outlining skills.

July 5, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Mantis Position Revealed

This bark mantis was the first thing I photographed on my first visit to Victorio Siqueroli Park. It was difficult trying to get some natural light photos that showed off its camouflage. It’s head down in the shot above, but it moved around during the shoot and ended up in various positions. Here’s some more shots with the aid of flash.

Can you see it now?

How about now?

I think just about everyone could spot something in the photo, they just couldn’t quite make out what it was. Initial guesses included a cricket, a grasshopper, and even a peanut-headed lanternfly. Finally, Ted C. MacRae and Zi-Wei Yyin both correctly guessed it was something in the order Mantodea.

Here’s some more closeup shots of this interesting critter.

Poised for action

Head closeup

Profile shot

On my last visit to the park I photographed another one of these interesting critters. Look for future photos of that one as well.

Crypsis Challenge #6 Reveal

December 12th, 2010 - 9:37 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 1 Comment

What was hidden here?

January 31, 2010 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Ted was on the right track with his comments about the mantid-like head. It is in fact a mantid of some type. Here’s a close crop from the image above.

It's a mantid