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  • Writer's pictureAllan Sander

Three's Company



I had already spent some time photographing this pair of courting Chinese mantids (Tenodara sinensis) and was now patiently waiting for them to copulate and…And I pause with an ‘and’ because at times during the mating ritual, the female will devour the male, generally headfirst, even while he continues his vital seminal function! As I moved in for a frame-filling image I disturbed an unseen grasshopper. It could have not chosen a more lethal landing platform than the backside of these deadly eating machines! I anticipated a quick coup-de-grace of the female’s spike-laden forelimbs snatching the interloper and thusly salvaging the life of her suitor. Fortunately, depending on who you are rooting for, the grasshopper hurtled away from danger without incident leaving the two lovers to decide their next course of action.

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