While weeding the flower garden around noon today, I saw a Cabbage White nectaring on salvia flowers. Then, I noticed something jumping from a nearby plant to the salvia. It turned out to be a praying mantis. The Cabbage White left, but the mantis positioned itself on one of the stalks below the blooming flowers. It was a perfect spot to grab a butterfly that would land on the flowers above.
If this wasn't intelligent, preplanned action, what is? And insects aren't supposed to be able to think.
The mantis waited. I waited. About 10 minutes later, the butterfly returned and landed on the flower stalk next to the mantis's. And the mantis struck.
A shutter speed of 1/400 s wasn't fast enough to freeze the action. The butterfly struggled briefly.
But it was too late. A few minutes later, a couple of white wings fell to ground below.