For all those who devote themselves to working in the country, nature never ceases to astound and enkindle us, even in most quotidian situations. Yet, sometimes we are lucky enough to witness special moments which dumbfound and even amaze us.

By Cynthia Bandurek

For the last few years, I have been taking part in an amphibian monitoring project undertaken by the Parques Nacionales (National Parks) Administration personnel at the “Otamendi” Strict Natural Preserve in the Province of Buenos Aires.

One evening, while working in what we call a low latitude grassland and walking along a transect which had been delineated to perform periodical information gatherings, our flashlights suddenly spotted an amazing scene: on top of a sea-holly (Eryngium sp)

[i], among the thorns bordering the leaf, we found the remains of a Chaco tree-frog, a young White-banded Tree-frog (Hypsiboas pulchellus) having been almost completely devoured. A little higher, a 15 cm long mantis or “tatadiós” as it is commonly known for its front legs position resembling the praying stance, whose abdomen evidenced a sumptuous meal, was watching the remains of its dinner.
They are known for their voracity but the sight of this scene left us completely in awe. We temporarily put our monitoring off while we kept watching, analyzing and taking photos. The chances nature offers us to see and learn more about it are always to be seized.

[i] Serrucheta: sea-holly (Eryngium sp)