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I was photographing butterflies in a large meadow when I noticed this black swallowtail fluttering its wings on a teasel flower. When I got close I saw that a mantis was holding the butterfly and eating it! It was the first time I've seen a mantis eating a butterfly. It ate the whole body but with just the head and a few legs left, the butterfly seemed hardly affected. I couldn't believe it.
meadow, temperate forest
I was super stoked to see this little drama unfolding in one of my favorite meadows in Short Hills national park.
Spotted on Jul 28, 2012
Submitted on Aug 11, 2012
and 16 other people favorited this spotting
Thanks! Willing and done.
Great series! I missed this one. Would you be willing to add this one to the Marvelous Mantids of the North East mission?
Thanks Carol. Actually Emma, it ate the head last. The butterfly was amazingly still alive with just it's head and 2 wings left.
looks like it began from the head first? Recently I saw a green Darner,a really big dragonfly, eating a smaller dragonfly. It began from head first . It took him nearly 3 minutes to eat the small dragonfly.
Thanks man! I tried to film it and got a short clip but it was really difficult. There was so much bright sun that it was hard to see the screen. I couldn't tell if I was in focus or not and there isn't much room to play with for macro. I'm going to check the clip again and see if I can get a short vid from it.
That's off da hook bruh! wish there was video of this one
Thanks Karen! I couldn't hear any crunching but was still very cool to see.
Awesome series Dan! My first ever PN spotting was of a mantis eating a sachem butterfly - I could actually hear "crunching" as it munched on its prey!
Sorry, I got a little carried away. Suggestion deleted.
Thanks, I've found the mission and joined. I already know the ID for this spotting, you don't have to suggest an ID.
I don't know how to send the link, but the mission is called Interaction between different species of Arthropods. I found it browsing under Missions- Global.
Thanks so much everyone! NaturalistAmateur, I haven't joined that mission yet, there are so many! Do you have the link?
Very nicely photographed. I think this qualifies for the species interaction mission as well.
Great photo series! ... And pretty dramatic - especially for the butterfly! :-}
Fantastic pictures Dan!
Aren't we lucky, when we observe closely. What a drama!
That's quite a find!
Wonderful capture and wonderful series Dan. I would say you were doubly blessed.
Wow, great spotting :)
What a great wildlife moment to capture! And great job on the pictures, they're beautiful :)