A nasty surprise awaited the crew first thing on Sunday morning. Lady Bug had been infiltrated by a nasty dangerous predator. We were going about the normal routine: hanking on sails, removing covers, rigging sheets, putting on sunscreen....but wait that last one was never done. Sitting on top of the sunscreen was a freakin' Praying Mantis (known as a mantid to those who care).
For the first picture, the dangerous beast was calmly hanging out on the jib downhaul, by the second picture he (or she) was in Full-on Attack Mode (FAM). See those little legs ready to pounce? Needless to say, I put on my Captain's Hat and started barking orders..."you, nameless crew member, capture that villainous creature!" And immediately stepped back on to the dock awaiting the capture.
Minutes later, the Insect of the Damned decided he/she was not going to be captured and receded to the furthest reaches of the lazarette (or whatever the heck that thing is called where I put winch handles). We didn't have a choice, we had to ignore him/her. By the end of the day, we were stuffing GPS's, winch handles, water bottles in there as per usual with no thought of our deadly stowaway.
Of course, we did so only after a quick google search turned up this gem:
"Beware: praying mantids will eat other beneficial insects if pests are not available; however, they will not eat ladybugs because they are bitter."