This morning I found an emaciated praying mantis nymph on a blue geranium leaf in the greenhouse. Although my attempts at feeding them have failed in the past I just had to try again. This time I picked fragments of bronze fennel with 3 wingless greenfly on them and carefully laid them on the geranium leaf. For a long time nothing happened. I had to keep going back to check. A little over two hours later the fennel leaf had curled up in the heat and only one dead-looking greenfly remained. Were the greenfly eaten by the mantis? I don’t know.
I tried again with another greenfly. This time the nymph stalked it and suddenly made a grab at it, but even faster sprang back as though it had been stung. For most of the afternoon nymph and greenfly shared the leaf without incident. Then I saw the nymph standing over the greenfly watching it. Nothing happened and I had to go to do something else. When I returned the greenfly had gone. I used a mirror to search under the leaves, but it was nowhere to be seen. Did the mantis eat the greenfly? I don’t know.