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My 3rd birthday - It's purple of course

My 3rd birthday - It's purple of course
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-11-22
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mantodea: Mantis, Animals from my garden, My purple obsession 5 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-01-05 9:30
Viewed: 5110
Points: 104
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Eyed-flower Mantid / Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi

Today I am celebrating my 3rd birthday on the site and the journey from posting the first image up to the one of today has been very rewarding for me. It has given me many good friends across the globe. I have completed 3 years of ever memorable association with my Trek Nature friends.

During this period, I have learned a lot and have enjoyed tremendous appreciation and encouragement. I also learned to love and appreciate the Creation that was given to us freely to enjoy and to be grateful for. At no time before did I ever anticipate that photography as a pastime would become such a passion and part of my life, since that day when I joined this wonderful site.

Thank you my friends for making this place so special, and for showing me all the beauty of our world right in the comfort of my own home. I have to thank all of you as it is too difficult to choose or favour one over the other. There is however one person I would like to make a special mention of and that is my dear husband Loot, who introduced the wonderful subject of photography to me. He showed me how to love all of Creation and everything involved with nature. He taught me about the different animals, birds, insects, fishes, flowers, trees, and much more. This list can go on and on. Some days I think he regrets the moment I first laid my hands on a camera, as I forever run out with it on every occasion I hear a bird call, or when I am looking for just another insect to photograph.

I think many of you have come to know that I love this fabulous colour called purple, and if you were not aware of this fact this will soon change because if you posted something purple chances are good that I will find it and come and critique it and/or link it to my purple theme. No matter if the tint is violet, lilac, lavender, periwinkle, grape, plum or mauve. Any shade of purple makes me overjoyed and I want to thank everybody that unknowingly spoils my eyes and heart by placing an image containing the colour purple. If you think I might be slightly irrational with my obsession with purple, you're definitely right.

As I celebrated my 1st and 2nd birthday with something purple, once again I want to share an image containing this beautiful colour. I was really thrilled when going for my daily walk in the garden I found this gorgeous Flower Mantis sitting on a Spider Orchid.

I used to admire the spectacular mantises Paul Bratescu (AnimalExplorer) used to have in his gallery, and I never thought the day would come that I would be fortunate enough to photograph one myself. The first time I saw one of these in Paul's gallery I was amazed as I never knew one could find such dazzling insects. I was so excited when I noticed the purple colours on its body.

Order Mantodea
All mantids are predatory, using their specially modified fore legs to ambush and grasp live prey. Eggs are laid in a frothy mass that hardens as it dries to form a characteristic egg-case (ootheca). Nymphs often differ in appearance from adults, some resembling ants during early developmental stages. So far 1800 species is known, of which 185 occur in South Africa.

Family Hymenopodidae
Spectacular mantids that often mimic flowers. A raised process is usually present on the middle of the head, and the first thoracic segment has lateral lobes. Inner margins of the front femora have alternating long and short spines; those on the tibiae are closely spaced and lie at an angle. Leg bear ornamental lobes, and fore wings are often decorated with bands or spiral markings.

Large (body length 42 mm). Attractively mottled in pinks, purples, browns and greens with prominent circular eye-like markings on each fore wing. Femora of mid and hind legs ornamented, with rounded lobes. Large lateral extension on abdomen. Wingless nymphs are spectacularly ornamented and striped with pink, purple and green, and carry the abdomen curled above the body.

Mimics flowers and ambushes visiting insects. Eyespot used in threat display to frighten off attackers. When threatened, nymphs can expand the raised abdomen to reveal a single dorsal eyespot.

On flowers and in vegetation.

Taken from: Field Guide to Insects of South Africa by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

KOMSIS, nasokoun, Dis. Ac., corjan3, Argus, Mamagolo2, uleko, CeltickRanger, mamcg, marius-secan, matatur, maaciejka, kapildk, brech, Luis52, Noisette, jusninasirun, anel, tuslaw, pirate, loot, Emi_1987, rousettus, maurydv, Alex99, sily has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Anna, WOOOW this is really a fantastic creature, superb macro for yor 3th year on TN, congratulations and thanks for all your splentid photo, amazing mantid with fine details, wonderful colors and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

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  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2011-01-05 9:42]

Hallo Anna,
Three years passed quickly. Congratulations.!
Fantastic colors, an insect terminator.Perfect shot. Excellent details, nice natural colors, beautiful composition and great pose of the mantis.
Best wishes,

Congratulations dear Anna, what a beautiful presentation with this exotic insect..."keep photographing!" Nasos

Wow, what's up with that. It looks like a mantis all dressed up for a party. My compliments to you on a wonderful and unusal subject that is presented here with excellent detail, color, and composition.

Best regards, Paul

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  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-01-05 10:00]

Hi Anna,
Congratulations for Your contribution in this 3 years on TN!
Splendid photo, to celebrat this occasion, My best wishes!

Hallo Anna,

Just one week after my 3th celebration yours 3th.
Congratulations and you are celebrate this with an very nice capture from an unknow insect? for me!
What an surprise.
Good pov and sharpness with fine colors.
Well done.

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-01-05 10:26]

Hello Anna,
Congratulations for your 3th anniversary here on TN. And thanks for your great contribution to this site.
This photo looks like a fairy-tale in wonderful colours. Fantastic photo of this Mantis in great sharpness and a very beautiful composition.
I hope we can enjoy of your splendid photos for a long time.

Hello Anna,
Congratulations with your third anniversary here. This truly is a wonderful photo and your message is touching. I fully agree with your evaluation of this site. I would have joined long ago had I known about it - literally stumbled on it. Thank you also for the other useful information. Well done!!

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-01-05 10:58]

Hi Anna,this is an incredible specie! Never seen obviously..heehhe...nothing better to celebrate your 3rd year on TN,one of your best pic,and isn't easy in a gallery made by top quality pics! Thanks for share,have a good night,Luciano

Happy 3rd year Anna,
Amazingly beautiful colours (especially the purple), very good sharpness and wonderful composition. Congratulations, Pambos

hello Anna
and hope to hear mor comments from you they are so frindly
this mantis is a beauty with great details and super colours
thanks greeting lou

ps i you wil see the TRUFFLE from my fungi
look on google with the name of the fungi

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-01-05 12:26]

Congratulations Anna!
On not only on taking such a fine macro of this spectacular species of mantid, but on reaching 3 years on TN!
The quality and natural colours including the splashes of your favourite colour are excellent with the large leaf that it is perched on making a fine contrasting BG in a pleasing composition.
Thanks for your contributions to this site and I hope you will continue for a long time to come!
Kind regards,

Hi Anna,
Happy third anniversary to you! What a way to celebrate. I am blown away by this Mantis. Isnt this world of evolution amazing with it's mimicry.
Have a fine day.

WOW Anna, this is so beautiful. Congratulations on your 3rd birthday. Hope there will be many more to come. You chose a perfect subject for this posting. It is absolutely stunning.
Very well done and thanks foe sharing.

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-01-05 13:33]

Hello Anna,
Congratulations and what a splendid insect to have for a birthday instead of flowers!! It's really fantastic and you´ve managed to get a brilliant view of it too! Excellent and fascinating details and beautiful colours. Obviously very well-timed too!
Many thanks and best regards, Ulla

hello Anna

Happy 3th TN anniversary, it is amazing this
insect with his color tones, photo shot with
fine POV, DOF, excellent focus sharpness details,



Hi Anna
Wow, never seen one of these before, a really special photo to celebrate your birthday! Congrats!
This is a great macro shot of a very unusual creature once again showing us the beauty of nature. Your little Sony has outdone itself with brilliant sharpness and wonderful colors. The out of focus background places the emphasis on the unusual subject, well done my friend!
Looking forward to your next year of great photography.

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  • mamcg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 13 N: 91] (9843)
  • [2011-01-05 19:57]

Hi Anna,

Congratulations, what is amazing it is hard to decide that your NOTE and the shot both are amazing and beautiful. What we have in this part of the globe is winter, dry dead plants and you have there lot to be captured. For me it is a discovery that I have not seen on media but you show us the unexplored part of Africa, TFS.


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  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2011-01-05 21:11]

Hello Anna
Amazing vivid creature. Excellent macro!
Tanks for sharing

What an amazing creature. Beautiful photo. regards Yiannis

Hi Anna
Fantastic insect and beautiful photo. The composition, the colours and the sharpness are excellent. Congratulations for your 3 years in TN.

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-01-06 2:35]

Hello Anna,
congratulations for the third birthday and this purplish mantis is really a wonderful gift for us to enjoy the beauty of creation and to appreciate the beauty of your composition.
Well shot in contrasting colours - the green background is perfect to push the mantis into a stunning view.
Very well composed shot in exciting presentation.
This spiky fella also give you a good prayer and a nice smile.


Hello Anna,
Congratulations for your 3th anniversary here on TN.
Excellent image of this Mantis with lobely colors and excellent sharpness.
Superb composition with perfect POV and very good details.
I've never seen such an amazing insect before.

Hi Anna, and congratulations on your third year of providing excellent photos in TN for all of us.
The expertly photographed present specimen is obviously one of the best prepared ambushers in nature. Designers of camouflage clothing for every army should take heed here! Thanks for this purplish wonder MF.

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  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-01-06 5:04]

What a beautiful species of praying mantis with amazing colors, fine image. tfs.

Hi Anna,
what an interesting species. All colourful and unusual. All the best in Your third anniversary here!! Thanks for all Your perfect photos, interesting notes and critiques!
Best regards,

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  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2011-01-06 9:30]

Merhaba Anna,
bu türlü renkte olanını hiç görmemiştim.
Harika olmuş;renkleri, duruşu çok güzel.
Sitedeki dğum gününü de kutlarım.

Hi anna,

Congratulations & thanks for your beautiful album. This is the best pic for celebrating your 3rd birthday on TN. Very nice pic of this MANTID. Great composition with beautiful colors & perfect POV. Keep going anna. TFS.


Hi Anna!!! This is a beautiful creature and you shot it very nice!!! Regards, Erodotos

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  • brech Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 53 W: 60 N: 95] (267)
  • [2011-01-06 13:29]

What a wonderful and detailed macro image! Great colors and sharpness in a very well composed shot.



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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2011-01-06 16:00]

Dear Anna.
First.- Congratulations
Second.- Excellent and fine photo. Super
Third.- People like you make TN an excellent site, and we feel proud to belong. Thanks for all your beautiful photos and exelentes written notes.


Hello Anna
first of all, congratulations for your 3th year on TN,
this is the most beautiful mantis i have ever seen, she looks like a flower, it's colors and markings are amazing
wonderful green BG too
have a good night

Dear Anna!
Three years!? Many happy anniversaries! :-))
Excellent job this one and not only this one... Great focus, perfect sharpness, full of details, amazing colors... Very, very done!

Qué belleza Anna ! Un Mántido singular y que no existe por estas latitudes,
todo un placer el poder admirarlo, con esas tonalidades tan sutiles. La toma es
sin duda muy llamativa por la espectacularidad de las formas y de los colores.
Un excelente trabajo y documento para Tn.
Un abrazo: J. Ignasi.

Hello Anna.
Wow.... Happy birthday :-)
I have never seen a mantid looking like this before. It is like a walking flower with purple and greenish pattern. The focus selection is beautiful and details are first class.
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend. Jusni

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-01-08 4:16]

Hello Anna,
Almost three years..time passes very fast! Congratulations! You show us here an amazing creature, looks like some plastic toy-creation from China. Colors and shape are most special. You have chosen a good lateral point of view enhancing the curious shape of this mantid. On my screen white parts are a little overexposed, but here definitively the subject is more important. Thanks for this interesting posting.
Kind regards

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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-01-08 12:17]

Hello Anna, congratulations on your 3rd anniversity here on TN.
What an awesome looking Mantis with it's colorful protruding
appendages. It simply amazes me how much diversity there is in color and appearance in the world of mantids. You always post such interesting and beautiful images, and this is no exception. Excellent work as always!!

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  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2011-01-08 12:26]

Hi Anna
congrats for your birthday
So this creature lives on planet Earth? Incredible picture and incredible things and facts to be found here on TN

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  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2011-01-09 9:17]

Hi Anna

CONGRATULATIONS with your 3rd birthday on this site.

How time flies. It's three years down the line, but it really feels like only yesterday when you captured your
first image on a digital camera and shortly thereafter joined this site. You really came a long way since then
and the members of TrekNature opened their hearts big time to you and appreciate your contributions and
participation on this site. Take this little mantid as an example. Your hard work and persistance knows no end
and you and your little Sony has become inseperable. This is the reason why you so regularly manage to find
all these weird and wonderful critters in our garden or wherever you venture. Keep up the good work and
although points are not the begin all or the end all on this site, it is still appreciative to notice that you have
become the South African member with the highest points on the site. It is a direct indication of your valuable
contribution to TrekNature and for that I thank you.

Keep up the good work and TFS.
Loving regards

Hello Anna
Wow what a beautifull Eyed-flower Mantid never saw this types, and you mananged to capture it so nicely lovely colors and sharp detail very nice and educative, Job very well done. Thanks for sharing!

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-01-11 2:51]

Hello Anna.
Congratulations on your 3rd birthday on TN.A masterpiece! Very arty shot with perfect quality and composition of colours.Best regards Siggi

hello Anna
I also have seen many mantid species, incl. similar habitus to yours. but I have never met such a colorful. you greatly captured it on green leaf. superb details and coloration. nicely composed and taken from great POV/DOF. I wish you many hundred shot here. congratulations on your 3rd birthday.
thanks for sharing. have a nice evening

Hallo Anna,
congratulations on your third anniversary on TN; you celebrate it with a superb macro shot of a fantastic mantid ("purple of course"), outstanding sharpness, splendid colours with a very good contrast against a dark green leaf, excellent POV, DOF and composition
Best regards

Indeed a strange one to celebrate your 3rd birtday! But so interesting and intrigant dear Anna. Best wishes and TFS.


Hellow Anna,
What an amazing colourful alien, I have never seen something like this [ colour wise ]TFS.
Regards to you both,


Hi Anna,
This is a great macro! Excellent details and sharpness, perfect composition and great colours. Fantastic work! Well done.

Hi Anna,
incredible what nature and you present us here!
fantastic creature and fantastic shot.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-01-23 7:59]

Hi Anna.
What an unusual and fine mantis. I have not seen anything similar. Its shapes and colouration are amazing. Selected POV is great and DOF is precise. Bravo.

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  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2011-01-27 20:19]

Hi Anna!
I know a lot about your husband's photos but didn't see yours till now, and this little creature is amazing, I love bugs and this one is really unique, great photo, congrats!

Simply amazing! I can’t say anything.

Hi Anna,
Thanks for pointing this one out to me, it would be a shame had I never seen your beautiful capture of this mantid. It is one of the most beautiful individual of p.wahlbergii that I have ever seen. The coloration is different, although I have seen some with a slight purple, I have yet to see one with such intensity, the magnitude of the color purple is off the charts on this one. Thank you for sharing this wonderful image. I'm flattered you would even use me as a reference. Tell Loot "Hi" for me.
Sorry I missed your 3rd birthday, but I hope you had a fun one on TN!
Paul :)

Excellent close-up photo !!!!!!
Congratulations, regards ..

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