new sisters

new sisters
Penelope holding 10 day old Violet

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Hatchlings

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.
A couple weeks ago we had another homebirth of sorts. Our praying mantis babies emerged from their egg case. I had almost given up on them, but then one morning there they were! It was strange the way they all came out together and then just hung there, seeming to be stunned or in a trance. Once they started to move around we brought them outside and opened their habitat because we had read that they will start to eat each other if there is nothing else to eat.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is an amazing post. What a terrific thing to do with kids. Especially a kid like Penelope, who can really get into it and appreciate it. But, really, so you have to make that face in order to talk about these creatures? That is such a funny picture of the two of them seriously discussing the critters!!