Alerts Button
E-Alerts
Podcasts Button
Podcasts
Movies
Movies
Youtube Button
Youtube
Traffic Button
Traffic
ListenLive Button
ListenLive

Thursday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
High: 87 °F
Low: 61 °F

Friday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
High: 88 °F
Low: 62 °F

Saturday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
High: 88 °F
Low: 62 °F

SCV Outdoor Report: Night Fever

1-scvoutdoorreport-logo

By Wendy Langhans

“Listen to the ground: there is movement all around.  There is something goin’ down and I can feel it.”  Suddenly, a Stagmomantis californica flew out of the darkness and abrubtly landed on my rosebush.  He carefully folded his spike-studded forearms and stared unblinkingly at me.  Whatever his reason for being there, it wasn’t to “stop and smell the roses”.

How did I know it was a “he”?  Well, I didn’t at first.  But a quick look at the field guide gave me a clue - while California Mantids can be either tanish brown or green, the males are slender and their wings are long, extending to the tip of their abdomen and sometimes beyond.  Here’s a picture of a female, so you can see the difference.

IMG_3612

All Praying Mantids are carnivores; maybe he was visiting my rosebush because he was hungry.  “In all the kingdom of the living, there is no more deadly or voracious creature than the Praying Mantis.”  Or so says one of the characters in this 1957 monster movie “The Deadly Mantis”.  A report from Oregon State provides less dramatic, and more factual details:  “Mantids are ambush predators, meaning they wait for food to come to them.” Then they strike, catching their prey with their strong, spike-studded forearms.  They usually devour the head first, then the rest of the body.

But then again, maybe it wasn’t hunger.  Praying Mantids are usually active during the day.  Could he be out at night for another reason?  Praying Mantids reach maturity in the fall.  Perhaps those “waves of the air” carried the scent of female mantid pheromones.  Maybe he’s looking for that “sweet city woman”, who “moves through the light”.


Are you interested in events and activities in the Santa Clarita Valley?  Stay informed with a weekly “Top Things To Do This Weekend” E-newsletter. Sign-up now!

 

We may be on to something here.  Check out the tightly sculpted abs on this fellow.  Doesn’t he look a bit like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever”?  What female mantid could resist that pose?

IMG_8877

_______________________________________________________

Upcoming Outdoor Events:

Trail Maintenance Schedule.  Come join our volunteers as they help maintain our trails.  Contact Steve at machiamist@aol.com for time and place.

Wednesday mornings, September 7, 14, 21 & 28.

Saturday mornings, September 10 & 24.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The SCV Outdoor Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to www.LAMountains.com.

Check out the new Facebook page  - L.A. Mountains