30 October 2009

Praying mantis vs. hummingbird. Mantis wins. Twice. Thrice.

Photo credit to FeVa Fotos, via Found Here.

I've seen one previous well-documented case of a mantis capturing and killing a hummingbird; the photo below (credit Richard L. Walkup) was posted at Bird Watcher's Digest in 2005.

Addendum: Anonymous tracked down another such capture at National Geographic (credit Sharon Fullingim), which was also featured at Neatorama.

As CCL notes in the Comments, hummers are marvelous creatures. Many people assume they are only honey-eaters and don't realize that they are also opportunistic insectivores. In order to balance this thread, TYWKIWDBI will keep its collective eye out for photos of a hummingbird eating a praying mantis. One doubts that a hummer would attack a full-grown mantis, but remember than mantids also start small...


  1. Wow.
    That truly is extraordinary. It looks so . . . unlikely.

  2. Poor hummingbirds. I know mantids are beneficial for gardens, but hummingbirds are so enjoyable to watch.


  3. I saw a similar (but not identical) photo about a month ago on National Geographic's "Your Shot" section, but unfortunately I can't find it again. It's a remarkable feat for a mantis.

  4. National Geographic just published the "Your Shot" photo in this month's print edition. The original September post is here:


  5. Because manitises are beneficial to the garden, I do not kill them. I do, however, check my hummingbird feeders daily for any mantises that may be perching on the feeders waiting for a free lunch.

    Because hummingbirds are so quick, you know theses mantises have got to be just as swift and even more powerful.

    Thanks for posting such remarkable photos.

  6. This same thing just happened in my mom's yard yesterday. I figured it had to be a weird fluke but when I googled it I found several pics like the one here. Man, who would've known?

  7. This is amazing that a praying mantis is like the only insect able to catch a humming bird!


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