Monday, June 27, 2005

Praying mantis on catnip

Image of Praying Mantis named Big Boy. He is the largest of the first hatched ootheca (egg case). About 67 days old. He is perched on a catnip plant and seemed irritated at me for making him change poses for the camera. I was to busy with the camera to notice if he was affected by the catnip.

I had to make another cage recently to divide the mantids into smaller groupings. They were getting very aggressive all of a sudden and I am not sure why. I found two with there abdomen's chewed in half, dead, but still clinging to the side of the cage(so it had been recent), but their was no sign of a struggle. It was as if they had just stood there and let there selves be eaten. Usually they attack each other from the front and the winner eats the others head off or they will bite the neck area and just drop the dead body to the bottom of the cage. So this was really weird.

Oh, before I forget, they will eat ants, which I had never seen before, as one of the free mantids out in the yard was eating a medium size one, although he must have been very hungry as the caged mantid will completely ignore them.

I have seen some strange things while raising these mantids. Sometimes they will steal food from each other, but other times they will share a fly and eat it together. I have found them sitting on top of the cage the next day when I would have sworn none had gotten out, and the cage was absolutely sealed.
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