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Taking My Man with Me!

Sexual cannibalism is a well-known praying mantis phenomenon. I had read about it, but never expected to see it, much less photograph it in my own yard. On the morning of September 12, 2017, out walking through my garden, I came upon this female praying mantis, with the body of her already decapitated mate. I usually have my camera with me on those walks. I could hardly believe that I got to see this. Note a wing falling off the carcass. Her mate's carcass provides her with additional nourishment for the eggs she will lay. The eggs will hatch in the spring. Both the male and female would die by winter, whether or not they had mated. The males that are eaten after mating have had the chance to pass on their DNA, and contribute to at least the possibility of stronger eggs and offspring.
Taking My Man with Me!