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Pandora's avatar

Does anyone know why a Praying Mantis would sit on a window screen for two days without seeming to eat as the weather gets colder?

Asked by Pandora (23356 points ) October 9th, 2012

I thought it was dead and so I tried to nudge it. It moved slightly but when I left, it went right back to the same spot on the screen. I figured with the nights getting cold it would go to a tree or bush or even the ground. I haven’t seen any bugs out since the temperature dropped.

We are going on day three and I began to wonder if maybe its something they do before they die. It is pretty large so I imagine it is an adult.
I’ve always known they could be slow but I think this is a new record.
If you have a real answer to the mystery, than great. If you just want to have fun with it, I’m good with that as well.
I just wonder how long can it stay in one spot. Seems strange.

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6 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Could be it’s responding to the changing day length and temperatures and it’s getting ready to go into hibernation for the winter. Or it could be ready for death. Hard to know. Or it could be a male that got laid and the female didn’t want any head and he’s terminally depressed. I would be.

gasman's avatar

Bugs slow down in the cold. The temperature of their small bodies with high surface area to volume ratio quickly tracks changes in the ambient temperature. Most cellular metabolism is temperature-dependent. Put the mantis in a jar inside your house & see if it perks up. Wikipedia says non-tropical mantises die during the winter, so maybe this critter should really be saying its prayers!

Pandora's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Love your last guess. LOL
@gasman I would but the upper window doesn’t doesn’t come down and the screen is in so tight that if I pop it out it will probably fling out and squish the creature. Maybe he is saying one long good-bye.
Oh, maybe he sees his reflection in the window and is waiting to see who will strike first. Hmm!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yep, he’s leaving the earth soon.

Pandora's avatar

Well its day 5. I notice he moves more when the day is warm. He did go away for a few hours but is back again. Just weird.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The window screen must be keeping him warm & safe. I suspect he’ll stay there until he dies.

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