Shutterbug or Shudder Bug?
We usually see praying mantids, aka praying mantises, camouflaged in foliage and lying in wait to ambush prey.
But have you ever seen them frying flies over a kitchen stove?
You will when you take a look at an Oklahoma photographer's work.
An interesting article in The Daily Mail Online from the UK plainly shows what Scott Cromwell did with praying mantids. He created scenes of the insects doing such things as not only frying flies on a stove, but taking the baby (mantis) for a stroll, soaking in a bathtub (a claw bathtub at that!) and reading the Daily Mantis news while answering nature's call.
Cromwell, a 40-year-old television repairman, said he buys assorted species of praying mantids online and he purchases many of the miniature props (miniature dollhouse props) on eBay.
The article, showcasing several of his photographs, has drawn widespread reactions, from "amazing creatures" (mantids) to "horrid man" (Cromwell).
A true shutterbug? Or shudder bug? Or someone expressing creativity and innovation?
Most of us who photograph insects never pass on an opportunity to capture images of a praying mantis in its natural habitat. They are amazing. They pounce quickly. They show no fear. They stare at you as if you're their next meal.
Still, I'd rather see a praying mantis in nature's dew than in a bubble bath.
Camouflaged praying mantis having lunch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)