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The Praying Mantis was named for its pious stance, its raptorial graspers held aloft beseechingly as is pleading forgiveness for its many, many kills. Even the word “mantis” is divined from the Greek word for prophet.

They don’t act penitent, however. Upon placing some items in my shed for seasonal storage I came upon a rather large specimen. I had no desire to squash such a handsome predator, so I picked him up for transport out of the work zone, and he tried to eat me. One might think this rather egotistical of the insect, but they are newly proven to be adept bird hunters.

There is pictorial evidence of a praying mantis in West Chester, Pennsylvania who loitered at the end of a branch for a humming bird to venture near. Upon his quarry venturing within reach, the mantis struck, grasping the bird in its claws and holding on until it weakened, then piercing its heart with a with a fore claw before gorging itself on delicious bird flesh.

Before anyone gets too upset thinking that a bug killed a cute humming bird:

1) Humming birds are fiercely territorial, and prone to use their beaks as weapons even against others of their own kind.

2) The image galley below might convince some people that mantids are so hideous.

3) The pictures of the kill are quite a thing to see.

Mantis taking a humming bird
Interesting gallery of Mantis Pictures