Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mantid update

The Mantids are finally getting larger, some more than others, and I have started feeding them just vinegar flies. For some reason the mantids prefer them to aphids even though the flies have better defenses. I have also discovered that I can trigger a feeding response by spinning the cage. The flies will move towards the light so as I slowly spin the cage I force them to walk past the awaiting mantids which remain stationary. After several revolutions many of the mantids have had the opportunity to catch their dinner. It also seems to excite them triggering a desire to feed.
They still occasionally eat each other but more often they test each others abilities in mock confrontation, toeing the line, each taking turns striking and grabbing the other but releasing before any damage is done. They will then stand facing each other about one body length apart in a stare down, neither willing to be the first to walk away.
I am also preparing to release some live mosquitoes in the cage to vary their diet a bit more


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