The Praying Mantis is named after its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle as though praying. They are a formidable predator, lying in ambush perfectly camouflaged, on the plants with which they live. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further armed with spikes for trapping and pinning their prey in place. They have triangular heads and can turn their heads 180 degrees, scanning the surroundings with two large compound eyes and a further three other eyes located between them.
This beautiful specimen was photographed in an area called Windows on the Wetlands which sits on the highest point of the Adelaide River floodplain, called Beatrice Hill. There is a great visitors centre, to gleam all the information you need about the history, ecology, flora and fauna of the area. It has panoramic views of the floodplains where you can spot the likes of frilled necked lizards or passing Brolga's. Instead my attention was turned to this little guy, walking along a handrail that I think was once used for plumbing. Although I didn't capture him amongst the lush green vegetation, I love the colour of the turquoise pipe and his vivid green body. They are so slow when they move and by getting down to his eye level I could really get a sense of his character as he tilted his head to try to figure me out. It's astonishing to see the detail of such a small insect, they are quite amazing creatures up close.