Wednesday, February 6, 2013


It's a sign of good luck if a praying mantis hangs around. 

How do you say "praying mantis" in Chamorro?  After looking it up in several places, I have come up empty-handed.  Which leads me to believe that the praying mantis is so recently introduced on our island that we haven't had time to invent a local name for it.  Safford (early 1900s) does not mention it in his list of Guam insects.

The Spaniards call it the "mantis religiosa" (religious mantis) or "santateresa."  Santa Teresa (Saint Teresa of Avila) is a well-known Spanish Carmelite saint, so it's no surprise the Spaniards named this pious insect after her.

Some cultures fear the mantis as a sign of doom.

We think it's a sign of good.

I just think it's one of God's creatures.  I am not fond of insects, but I enjoy it when a praying mantis, of its own accord, lands on me and sits, and sits and sits.  This is one insect that isn't a workaholic.

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