Tales From a Tiny GardenAttack of the killer Mantis
A sunny afternoon relaxing in suburban Rotorua. Owhata, above the lake not far from the CBD. Bad things happen in tiny gardens.
A sunny afternoon, the perfect picture, where’s my camera when I need it? A white butterfly flutters gently on a pot plant decorating the fence line beside the tree nursery. It is rushing to fill the the tank with carb rich nectar. It’s dangerous to park here for too long. Something is amiss? The delicate wings are beating with too much urgency. Maybe two insects are locked in an embrace, rolling on the soft red petals. I need a closer look or perhaps a visit to Specsavers.
My tiny garden is a beautiful savage microcosm.The terrified butterfly is held in the death grip of a Praying Mantis. Two raptor arms encircle wings and abdomen. Pointy restraining attachments on the legs gouge the insect’s abdomen as it struggles to escape. Sharp teeth slice effortlessly through brain and neck ending the brief resistance.
After five minutes of carnage all that remains of the butterfly is a single surgically amputated winglet that escaped butchery, floating away on the gentle breeze.