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Male Praying Mantis Head  - (Stagmomantis carolina?) | by Thomas Shahan
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Male Praying Mantis Head - (Stagmomantis carolina?)

I don't know much about mantids, and the species I named in the title (Stagmomantis carolina) is just a quick guess. From reading around a bit, I have concluded that this one is male though. Supposedly adult males and fly as well, unlike female mantids whose wings are partially non-functional.

 

I was walking with some friends and one of them pointed out this guy on the hood of a car. It was a pretty exciting find for me as it is only my third time seeing a praying mantis, and it was a species I had never seen. I didn't have my camera with me, so I told them to watch it, then I ran inside the nearest building and found a nice, clean, translucent trashbag to catch him in. I carefully got him to go in the bag and carried him with me until I got back to my camera. When I was done photographing, I let him go on a plant that was a great match, as he was camouflaged perfectly. There were a few small moths fluttering around the plant, which quickly caught his eye.

 

This photo is basically full frame and focus stacked manually from 4 photos taken at ~5:1 and f/8. I've uploaded it at a larger size than usual so everyone can appreciate the detail.

 

If the photo looks bizarre saturation-wise, please tell me. I edit my photos on a laptop with a lowly saturated screen, so I have a difficult time predicting how the colors will turn out.

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Taken on March 28, 2005