Saturday, July 23, 2005

Feeding your praying mantises

Keeping your mantises fed can be a challenge if you do not live in a large town with a pet store that carries a full range of pet supplies. Mantises eat a lot of fruit flies and I keep mine fed by setting out five gallon buckets with scrap fruit. (cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.) By the end of the day you should have attracted enough to start gathering a few, which is best done in the morning when it is still cool or then again when it cools down in the evening. I use this large funnel which I place on top of the buckets and shake to try and get them to fly out the top and then catch them in the clear plastic containers which I make with old tennis ball containers covered with a fine mesh material on one end. (As shown in the image above) I also feed them crickets, but where I live, (Paradise, Ca.) none of the feed or pet stores sell the small adolescent crickets and only the adult mantis can eat a full grown cricket.
As to other recent happenings. One of the males finally grew its wings and reached adulthood and I thought would be the alpha male. Unfortunately the large female got hungry the following night, and the only trace left of him was a pair of beautiful wings left on the bottom of the cage. She ate the rest. The next male to get wings I am going to take out and put in a separate cage to protect for breeding later in the season. With Mantises it is the male who is smaller and are generally picked on by the females if you are raising them together.


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