A gravid praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, crawls out of a patch of African blue basil, and begins checking out the honey bees.
Decisions. Decisions. Dozens of them are buzzing around, gathering nectar for their colony. They are not aware she is there.
Finally, the mantis, her abdomen bulging with a future ootheca, spots a bee just above her head.
She knows the ambush move well. Soon spiked forelegs grip the bee, her dinner.
It was a good day for a praying mantis. It was not a good day for a bee.
Author - Communications specialist
A gravid Stagmomantis limbata eyes a honey bee nectaring on African blue basil. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis grips the honey bee with her spiked forelegs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
As the praying mantis eats the honey bee, another honey bee comes over to investigate. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Soon another honey bee appears on the scene. The two bees quickly left. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)