Mantids on the hunt

Many roadsides are being burnt by the CFA volunteers at this time of the year which reduces fuel loads and provides strategic protection for townships. Burning is also great for some grasslands and grassy woodlands to open up spaces for new plants and to control some weeds.

Praying Mantis

While walking through long grass with a burner to set the grass alight, there is the constant worry of stepping on a snake.

During this burn we didn’t see a snake but a praying mantis was rescued and relocated it to the other side of the road.

Mantids are one of the first insects to return after a fire to prey on other insects. Most hunt sitting on vegetation and are green or brown in colour, especially those that live in grasslands, and they may change in colour over time as the grass ages. (source: A Field Guide to Insects in Australia by Paul Zborowski & Ross Storey, 1995)

Most animals, reptiles and insects are able to find shelter or escape from a burn when it is carried out this time of the year.

A CFA volunteer lighting a grassland burn

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