Halloween Bug Ghost

by Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. on October 31, 2011

It sounds like any ghost story at first — I was walking through the woods on my property when I encountered this praying mantis that was ghostly white and floating in the air. After a startled jump backwards, I took this photograph:
white mantis skin

On closer inspection, this was held up by a thin, almost invisible strand of spider web silk.  I think the praying mantis got tangled in a spider web and eaten, leaving the empty carcass behind.  Or, perhaps the mantis shed the skin and it drifted into a spider web.  In either case, this is my entomology ghost story.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

June October 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Oh, MY! I got scared with just the picture, I imagine that you had a heart attack almost walking into it.

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