Japan has two main species and nine sub-species of praying mantis known commonly in Japanese as the kamakiri, but variously, also, as the tohroh, imojiri, or iibomushiri. Kamakiri literally means “sickle cut,” referring to the front legs, that to the ancient Japanese obviously more resembled someone working in the garden than piously praying.
Like most Japanese wildlife, it is rarely seen in the cities, but abounds in the countryside. This specimen of a praying mantis was recently photographed in Shimane prefecture, at the westernmost tip of the main island of Honshu.
True to its reputation as a predator, it fearlessly attacked the camera moments after this shot was taken, and proceeded to clamber over the camera, up the photographer’s arm and onto his head!
The praying mantis, along with stag beetles and other large creepy crawlies, is a favorite with Japanese boys, who collect them mainly in the summer.
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Japan praying mantis insect Shimane
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
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