I’ll be giving a tour for Brooklyn Bridge Park volunteers tomorrow. What will we see? Here are some of the things I’ve run into in the Park in the two years it has been open. And here’s the latest sighting:Chinese mantid, Tenodera aridifolia. Introduced to the U.S. in the late 19th century to go after pests. They come in green, light brown, and gray forms. I walked past this one thinking it was a scrap of leaf caught on the fence before I did a double-take. The only thing moving was the head; she seemed to be cleaning her leg. Over three inches long. The mantids rate their own order, Mantodea, with at least 2300 species on the planet. The U.S. and Canada have some 20 species. Very distinctive triangular heads, with forelegs often held in the “praying” position which gives them their common name. Will eat just about any insect they can catch, including members of their own species, and they will eat other things as well, including small vertebrates. Maybe it’s the prey that should be praying? This time of year, the females are eating big to get extra energy to produce their eggs, which they deposit in oothecae, one of my favorite words.
bees beetles birding birds books Brooklyn Brooklyn Botanic Garden Brooklyn Bridge Park butterflies caterpillars cicadas Climate Dead Horse Bay dragonflies fish flowers Floyd Bennett Field Four Sparrow Marsh fungus galls Gastropoda Green-Wood honey bees horseshoe crab Iceland insects invertebrates Jamaica Bay ladybugs mammals moths Nantucket owls plants Prospect Park reptiles shells snails spiders St. John Staten Island trees turtles Virgin Gorda wasps
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