Monday, July 04, 2005

Zoomed photo image of Praying Mantis

The mantids are large enough now to be able to distinguish between the sexes and I seem to have an equal mix of both although the males get picked on due to their smaller size and if I do not keep an abundant supply of live flies in the cage the males are the first to become lunch. The mantids are very selective about their food and weary of different kinds of insects that I introduce to them. If I place a different type of fly that they have never seen before into the cage they will watch it very carefully before attacking it even if they seem to be hungry. Some of them will even step back and allow the newly introduced fly wide berth to go by even though the fly may be small. I released the adult black cricket who was keeping the cage clean by eating all the dead remains of flies dropped to the bottom of the cage. The mantids only seem to eat till they are full and do not over indulge. I may be able to let crickets and mantids co-habit in the same cage but for now it is easier to monitor what is going on by keeping them separate. The oldest mantid is about 77 days old and may be starting to grow wings, but I am not sure.
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