ooh, a praying mantis in the rosemary hedge!

I've seen walking sticks and grasshoppers in the garden, but never a praying mantis.

But this past weekend, while photographing bees, I suddenly noticed this praying mantis in the rosemary hedge.

It is very large, about 3 inches long, and almost the same shade of green as the rosemary needle-like leaves.

Apparently we are very fortunate to have one in the garden. Flowering rosemary shrubs provide a good habitat for them.

They eat flies, fruit flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers and moths.

And what is really fascinating, is that they are the only beneficial insect that feeds at night.

I really hope they help keep down the pesky moth population that creates webs, which slowly suffocate the plants.

Hopefully the mantis doesn't catch for a meal any umber skippers, cabbage moths, or bees.

This isn't such a great shot because the sun was so bright at the time, but here you see the mantis on the move.

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