Oct 062017
11 Wondrous Facts About Praying Mantises

From extreme camouflage to sexual cannibalism, these pious-looking carnivores are as exquisite as they are fearsome. Named for their prominent front legs that fold together in a supine gesture suggesting an act of devotion, the praying mantis comes off as supine and soulful. You might think of them as docile things, moving about slowly, nibbling […]

Jul 212017
POLL: Should Praying Mantises be used for pest control?

New research documents that mantises worldwide are eating small birds; in the US, invasive mantis species are devouring hummingbirds. If the headline weren’t startling enough, the photos are even worse. There is an order to predators and prey that feels normal – like, birds eat insects. And when the script it flipped it can feel […]

Jul 192017
A gallery of Chobe’s feathers

In this post I have chosen to let the images talk for themselves rather than tell stories. This post is a gallery and hope fully the images are enough. This gallery shows you the wonderful variety of birdlife you can see along the Chobe river. As I have mentioned in earlier posts on this trip, […]

Mar 202015
Biologists Surprised by Acrobatic Skills of Juvenile Praying Mantises

A new study published in the journal Current Biology reveals that, unlike other jumping insects, wingless baby mantises don’t spin out of control when airborne. In fact, they both create and control angular momentum at extraordinary speeds to orient their bodies for precise landings. The smaller you are, the harder it is not to spin […]

Aug 022013
Compound Eye: Scientific American blog Interview

The excellent science blogger and biologist Alex Wild features an interview with me on Scientific American’s Compound Eye blog. Do you usually have a particular image in mind when you head into the field with your gear? Or are you open to shooting what you find? It has to be fun. The most fun for […]

Jun 222013
Uncharted Territory: Scientists Discover New and Incredible Species

It’s every scientist’s dream to travel to a remote, unexplored place looking for as many new and interesting species as they can find. This was a dream come true for the 15 Mozambican and international scientists, led by Piotr Naskrecki, who spent 3 weeks in the Cheringoma Plateau of Gorongosa National Parkin Mozambique. There couldn’t […]

Feb 162013
Camouflage 101…

The art of camouflage is one of the primary defensive weapons in the arsenal of nature’s many and varied creatures. Clearly, this little Praying Mantis was absent for that lesson, and his bright pink coloration stood out like a sore thumb among the cool green tones of the lush rain forrest. Parc National d’Odzala-Kokoua, Republic […]

Jan 272013
Tiny Praying Mantis

I took this photo in June 2012. A miniature praying mantis is sitting on my thumb.It is a praying mantis nymph, an immature stage, and a very cute example of how insects grow. There are two kinds of insect metamorphosis: complete (also called holometabolic) and incomplete (also called partial orhemimetabolic). The monarch butterfly is a […]