18 August 2007

Scientist attacked by vicious mantid!

biting mantid

This Chinese mantid (Tenodera aridifolia) bit my finger in broad daylight this afternoon. Well, OK, I provoked it. I had been taking its pictures in my backyard and a couple of times when I came too close to it, it actually jumped on the camera. Those were probably preemptive strikes to warn me to stay away, but it didn't dawn on me that this was one brave mantid. So finally, when I reached out to re-position it on the branch it was sitting, it jumped on the index finger of my left hand, grabbed it with its spiny front legs and started biting it repeatedly. I continued photographing it until it gave me one painful bite and punctured my skin. That made me shake my hand and the mantid let go.

When I took one last picture of it as it was slipping away, it turned to give me one final look. My face is probably burned in its memory now.

chinese mantid

13 comments:

umit said...

I think this what they call 'an aggresive invader'. I have never been treated like that by a female mantid before.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

You were asking for it!

(very big grin)

I love that final photo; that warning glare.

Cindy said...

Yeowch!

Roger B. said...

It's got a taste for human blood now!

Snail said...

That's gotta hurt.

...Kat said...

great photo and story!
thanks :-)

Brenda said...

Great photos! Ouch!

This reminds me of the time I found a mantid nest in my garden; except at the time, I did not realize what it was. I thought it was pretty, and brought it into my basement, setting it on a table where I keep lithops plants...under fluorescent lights.

Imagine my surprise the day I found little mantids in my laundry.

angie said...

Terrific photos! I swear bugs have facial expressions.

Anonymous said...

You can see the blood lust in its eyes. It will find you when you sleep... :P

Great photos!

thelionsof said...

Well I suppose I should have read this post this morning. I found a mantid outside after taking my daughter to school and took pictures of it, eventually getting it to walk onto my hand. He jumped on my camera as well. No further aggression shown though. After I picked her up from school, he was still in the same spot. I picked him up again and we just admired him for a good twenty minutes. They seem to have the best character of all insects; perhaps too much character in your case! :)

Where was this little guy when my garden needed his help?

Wendy said...

Merhaba! I photographed one of these only a couple weeks ago. I apparently wasn't as offensive to him/her, as it didn't jump on my camera. After a grade school classmate was bitten by one years ago, I've never given one the opportunity to bite me. You got a fabulous shot of the "attack"!

thelionsof said...

http://thelionsof.blogspot.com/2008/10/we-have-praying-mantid-who-doesnt-want.html

Here's my lovely visitor!

Anonymous said...

MMmmm.., tastes like chicken.