What is your favourite insect?

I’m not sure if people, generally speaking, can instantly tell you what their favourite insect is. If you look closely at all of the possible contenders, I think that the only winner that makes any logical sense would be the bee. I am sure there isn’t another insect on the planet that works so hard on behalf of us humans. Without the bee’s ceaseless efforts in pollination, apples just wouldn’t be the same.

So, logic says my favourite insect should be the humble bee. So why am I tempted to say I prefer the psychopathic serial killing machine, the Praying Mantis? Only I can answer that. Let’s move on.

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis are very common out here, I often see them. I think I have a liking for them because when my son, Tom, was 11, he got one as a pet. We imaginatively called him Greeny…..

Tom - Cuddling His Praying Mantis

Tom - Cuddling His Praying Mantis

They’re great to keep as pets, fun to watch. If you are a fan of the TV series “Dexter” – a mantis is the pet for you. If your child wants one, be sure they are not too sensitive. Mantis’s don’t last long, they’re an insect.

The first time I saw a praying Mantis here was over at South Bank, which is in Brisbane city. It was on our first visit here back in 2002. I was with Tom and noticed that all of a sudden, he was staring at my neck with an opened mouthed, speechless look of horror. Being as this was my first week in a land notorious for killer insects, I did the blind panic body brushing dance. But in a controlled and gentle way.

This had all happened in the blink of an eye but I felt I had removed something that had been nestling on my neck. I asked Tom what it was he had seen as he now seemed to have recovered his voice. “A Praying Mantis” was his answer and I now realised it was not a look of horror on his face, but probably more like an expression of amazement. He loved these insects and had been desperate to see one living naturally. Now he had.

Fortunately, I hadn’t hurt the little fellow who had landed on the floor by my feet. And he was happy to pose for this photograph.

Praying Mantis at South Bank

Praying Mantis at South Bank

I have no idea what kind of mantis it was, but I’ll never take a better photo of one than this.

And here’s the proof of that….

Garden Mantis

Garden Mantis - Found in my garage last week.

Baby Burying Mantis - in my house a month ago.

Baby Burying Mantis - in my house a month ago.

On the outside wall of my house.

On the outside wall of my house.

Yes, despite the females tendency to eat the male after mating, Praying Mantis get the thumbs up in our house. I really don’t know why, but if it helps, I like bees too.

Footnote: There is an update to this post, and a rather scary video with a Praying Mantis at the foot of a newer post about geckos. Click on the link if you want to see it.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Elizabeth June 8, 2015, 8:24 pm |

    We had an 18 inch praying mantis on my garage one summer afternoon in australia on the gold coast. It was amazing.

  • BobinOz February 19, 2010, 9:27 pm |

    Hmmm, that is a downside of them. But I think they only do it for the vitamins for their babies. Bless ’em!

  • Aviram February 19, 2010, 8:21 pm |

    “Yes, despite the females tendency to eat the male after mating, Praying Mantis get the thumbs up in our house.”


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