|Pen with her "megalafying glass"|
|The expression on Violet's face is sort of how I was feeling at the time too.|
|This is their egg case sewn to a stick, and they are emerging.|
|They were slow, it was kind of strange... they just hung there.|
|I like Steve and Pen's identical serious praying mantis conversation faces.|
|They are kind of cute, in an alien sort of way.|
|She's letting one crawl on her arm.|
We let most go free into our garden, but we kept three, and they are still living in the habitat together. We have been feeding them mainly fruit flies, which we normally have an abundance of, but as is often the case, when you don't need something it is everywhere and when you do need it there is none to be found. And thus was the case with the fruit flies. I was actually asking people if they had any fruit flies we could have. We tried to get some from a pet store, but the store mysteriously closed due to an emergency the day we went to pick up the flies we ordered and it never opened again. But then my forgetful/lazy nature finally paid off when a lunch bag was left in the car with a banana in it. Steve went to clean out the car, found the bag and opened it and was rewarded by a swarm of fruit flies. Steve now has a fruit fly farm going on the porch, he keeps the lunch bag out there with fruit in it and every day he releases some fruit flies into the praying mantis habitat.
This has been a very cool experience. I'm glad we did it. It is fascinating to watch these little creatures catch and eat their flies. It will be interesting to see how many we spot in the yard as they grow, and I wonder if we will have many next year. The three we kept will be released before the summer is over. I think next year we will try a butterfly habitat. Penelope is already asking for one, and I think it will be awesome to watch that whole process and then let it fly out into our garden. This is one of the reasons that having kids is cool. I'd have never hatched mantis babies without a child to enjoy it with.