Several months ago, a host of tiny baby praying mantids appeared amongst the pot plants in our courtyard garden. They were a delight - a quick cup of tea in the backyard would become a Where's Wally adventure... the closer one looked, the more of the chocolate-brown babies you'd spot, hiding amongst the detail of the foliage and flowers. Over the weeks their numbers dwindled but the one or two that survived have been busy gorging all summer on pesky plant-eating insects.
|my mate the mantis|
Now, all grown up and green they stalk the stems, welcome assassins. The one in the photo hangs out on the olive tree by the lounge room window, eating up unwary backyard bugs, and I'm guessing, insects attracted to our lounge room lights at night. I suspect that along with all the wet weather, the mantids are one of the reasons I haven't noticed as many caterpillars on my plants this year. It's a great partnership we have, the mantids, the plants and I. Everyone is happy, except for the Snippers, the yabbie, whose favourite food is a fat, juicy, mint-fed caterpillar, fresh from the garden.