Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Day in the Cage or Mantid on Prozac

The mantids are finally showing signs of growth and they are shedding their exoskeletons. I was afraid they weren't getting enough nutrients from just the aphids so I started feeding them more vinegar flies with a few fruit flies. My home-made fly trap has begun producing quite well, although I may need to build a second one when the mantids require a larger supply. I have also started to raise the humidity, misting them more frequently as the temperature has been rising, hoping it will help them molt easier. I have also obtained a large aquarium for breeding purposes to use later this summer.
Their have been many casualties and the bottom of the cage looks like a battle field, dead bodies spread unevenly about. When I looked into the cage this morning I saw one headless mantid perched from a branch still holding on while his abdomen still pulsed with life. Standing near was a larger mantid who seemed to be watching it prosaically, just another day in the cage for him. Still the survival rate seems high but they move so fast I could never count them.


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