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Canoeing the South Branch Reservation
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Praying Mantis or Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis).  Do you see the Praying Mantis?  They are masters of blending into their surroundings.  Camouflage is very important for praying mantises’ survival.  Because they have so many enemies such as birds, they must blend in with their habitat to avoid being eaten.  They have a triangular-shaped head with a large compound eye on each side.  Praying mantises are the only insects that turn their heads from side to side in a full 180-degree angle.  Although there are some native mantises to North America, the large ones are Chinese Mantises, accidentally introduced in 1896 to a nursery. 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes