Friday, May 25, 2007


I got in my car this morning and noticed there was some sort of bug on the inside of the windshield. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was a baby praying mantis and it was eating a fly!

While I thought it was kind of cool that I had a praying mantis living in my car, I was initially wondering how the heck it got inside my car. Then I remembered I had been mowing a lawn a day earlier and the lawn mower was still in my car. (It's one of those spinning blade push-powered mowers that don't use any fuel other than human enegy, so there's no awful gas fumes.) Best I can figure, the praying mantis must have hitched a ride in the grass clippings that were stuck to the mower.

I was ok with the praying mantis hanging out in my car, up until I was on the highway and noticed the praying mantis started jumping around on the dashboard. I then realized it could move pretty fast when it wanted. Not that I was afraid of the thing - it's only about 1.5 cm in size and I could crush it like... well.. a bug. But crushing it was actually my main concern - I didn't want to lose track of where it was an accidentally squash it.

Fortunately, for my 1/2 hour drive in to work it kept to the dashboard area of my car. When I finally stopped the car at work and opened the door to get out, the praying mantis decided to hop out too - right into the door jam area patiently waiting to be squashed when I closed the door. So, I then had to find a piece of paper to shepherd the thing fully out of the car. I finally got it to climb on the paper and I dropped it off on some shrubs nearby. Hopefully it likes its new home.

Here's a picture to give you a sense of how small the thing was - note the car air vent on the right hand side of the picture.