Barely noticeable, the eyes of the Mantis behind the Cicada's wing and it's legs above the victim. At first, I didn't realize the cicada was in danger or I might have saved it. To my ears, it simply didn't sound as it should, but I was unaware of it's peril at the time.
Still, almost invisible, the amazingly well camouflaged Praying Mantis holds it's prey and has begun eating away at the forward edge of the Cicada's wing.
I obtained a stepladder to get a better viewing angle. It's clear that this poor cicada is beyond assistance.
The mantis has finally arranged to have each of it's forelegs firmly grasping each of the cicada's wings. The cicada was still struggling in vain to free itself.
By now the mantis has begun to feast. At this point, the cicada, with it's wing already severly damaged would have succumb to it's injuries or been taken by a bird or bat if set free.
As a lifelong fan of both cicadas and mantids, it was difficult to allow this milieu. But, considering the extreme rarity of mantids here in recent years and the already hopeless situation for the cicada, I chose to let nature take it's course.
"The Kiss Of Death"
Being so close-up to the scene kept making me think how great this would be as daikaiju eiga (大怪獣映画),
the giant-monster movies from Japan.
[See: Kaiju at Wikipedia.com]
The heavily damaged wing can be seen well in this image.
This shot illustrates the grip of mantis at the cicada's wing joint. It also illustrates the proportionate strength of the spindly mantis appendages.
Here you can se the mantis' pupil if you can take your gaze away from the gory damage that has now been done to the cicada.
This shot is so clear and vivid that I would happily do a testimonial for the maker of my camera. In fact, I selected this camera on my pleasant experience with my previous camera from the same maker.
All of these shots and related videos were taken with a Fuji S5000 3.2-megapixel digital camera. I bought it to replace a Fuji A101 1.3-megapixel digital. I consider them to be excellent cameras and I would buy another Fuji camera, should the need arise.
The day after the mantis had it's feast I was checking the tree to see if I could find it and instead found the remains of the cicada. Note the damaged wings.
This shot shows how thoroughly the mantis cleaned out the cicada. I didn't think to take the lens extension off of my camera. I apologize for the shadow.