After a big rainstorm this afternoon I ventured into the wilds of our garden with camera in hand. I got no further than the top of the stairs leading to the back of the property before I stumbled upon a crop of purple flowers that looked like a great habitat for bugs. To my delight, I found about 20 diminutive (~1cm) mantids in startling colors and textures! From my brief web search I learned that they are Spiny Flower Mantis Nymphs. Although I didn't get a photograph of it, I witnessed two Mantids fighting or at least jostling for position. The underside of the carapace is quite smooth and colorful.
ps. I learned something from this experience: wind is not the friend of the field bug photographer. It's a bit like shooting a mantis shrimp in a strong current. I shall return tomorrow, hopefully under better conditions.
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