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Updated: 04/24/2014 10:48:03AM

Praying for a fat, juicy bug

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florida fauna • josh olive

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If you grew up male and rural, chances are that at some point you kept a praying mantis in a jar. Well, if you’ve ever felt a little nostalgia for the good old days, get ready to punch some holes in a Hellman’s lid — praying mantises are seemingly everywhere right now.

Most of the mantises I remember as a kid were mottled gray and rather squatty in shape. These could be reliably found on most pine trees, doing a fantastic job of blending in with the bark. These are Florida bark mantises, and they’re not nearly so common now, even though the overall number of mantises is up.

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