Mantis | Grasshopper Devoured

💢 Warning for the squeamish: This post is about insects eating each other.

Friends of ours live on an acreage several miles out of town which includes prairie, trees, a pond, and many kinds of wildlife. There are mantises and grasshoppers. One day, he found a mantis which captured a grasshopper and started to eat it. He recorded many photographs of the events to share with me. Here are but a few selected ones. It’s kind of gruesome. But, as Melanie has often said, “Hey, everybody has to eat.”

These legs look tasty

Cleaning up the last bits

Would you pass me a napkin, please?


22 thoughts on “Mantis | Grasshopper Devoured

  1. Wow! Your friend took some amazing shots – thanks for sharing. These photos almost feel like a sci-fi movie – but it’s real-life everyday nature!

  2. He doesn’t know how to properly eat a grasshopper. You’re to remove the head and legs before you eat. You boil them in stock and enjoy as if they were crayfish. Silly Mantis.

    They are beautiful beings for sure. Some get large enough to eat small birds. I’ve seen those photos as well.

      • They are good. I had them a lot growing up.
        One of the things I couldn’t get used to was the live ‘caterpillar’ dishes. I can eat them stewed with a nice curry and peppers dish but live, nope. Throw some fish beside that curry dish and it’s on. I am so there.

        There’s a US special way to eat grasshopper which is yuck to me. You don’t cover grasshoppers in chocolate and call them an African delicacy because that’s not what that is. Chocolate covered grasshoppers are a confectionery disaster. It should be outlawed. Stop it people, just stop it.

    • At first I thought you were joking. Now, I don’t think so. I’m such a coward when it comes to trying something like that. I would need you to help me do it. 🙂

      • I was serious. My grandfather was from Congo.
        I’m first generation American. And yes, you remove the head and legs. When you remove the head, all the inside junk comes out with it. It’s like how you clean a chicken or fish before cooking it. There’s no reason to keep the legs. Those are discarded. If you like shrimp or crayfish you’d do okay with grasshoppers and Mopane worm aka a caterpillar.

  3. Thanks for the kind comments.
    What I recall was lying half on concrete and half on a cinder block wall – all scrunched-up with my SLR about 4″ from the mantis. If I moved fast it would scare it. When I finally did get up, I really hurt!
    Glad you liked the pictures – Jim did an excellent job of cropping and arranging. These bugs get over 6″ long out here!

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