Sunday, March 28, 2010

Praying Mantis Pagoda

Today was an extremely exciting day--our praying mantis egg case finally hatched! We received the egg case on Mardi Gras--I remember because we arrived home from NO after a morning of parades. I thought it was still too cold in the house for it to hatch, but apparently not. After 6 weeks of checking on it, today, as I was changing Lila, I noticed hundreds of little nymphs crawling all over their little house.

You can't see in the video, but you can in this picture T.J. snapped. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
She doesn't look as excited as she was...
Bronwen sets them free:

Well, almost all of them--I was proud of her for letting them crawl on her arm. She actually had practice yesterday, when she let a ladybug crawl on her finger.

I wanted to join in the fun too.

I kept two in the case so we could watch one grow up. They are so tiny, and I have to find food for them to eat, which may be difficult at first. I am trying now to lure some fruit flies to a mason jar full of banana peel. Wish us luck!


Tiff said...

That is so cool! You can disregard my question on FB. I figured you had a post with some pics. LOVE IT!

Do you know if they stick close to "home" or do they go elsewhere?

Jessica said...

The fruit flies will hatch from the banana peel (where the eggs are), or other fruit--just put it in a plastic bag or mason jar with some breathing holes. Or put the fruit in the mantis pagoda. Didn't know what baby praying mati (mantises?) ate.

Jen said...

I already have my mason jar with a banana peel and a peach outside! :-)
Hopefully I can catch something good.

I caught a couple of gnats already, and now they are gone.

mantis dad said...

That's so strange! Ours hatched Friday night and more hatched this morning.

The local Reptile store actually traded me some of the baby praying mantids (mantises, manti, whatever) for live crickets at a rate of 5 to 1. He only wanted 10 mantises, but he gave me 50 week old crickets to feed the ones we are keeping.

I am planning to put some in easter baskets (in a container of course) and am going to use the crickets to keep them alive.

We let go about 40 or so on the front stoop today. I will try the banana peel idea. My five and 3/4 year old and I spent hours yesterday and an hour today outside catching flies and mosquitoes.

Catching them was easy in a small jar or with a net. Getting them alive into the Praying Mantis container (we took them out of the pagoda to separate the ones we were keeping) was the real trick.

We probably caught 30 and only were able to get about 6 into the mantis containers we were keeping. But any time spent with our children is time well spent so we had a lot of fun.

Jen said...

Ohhhh! I got an actual random comment that wasn't spam! Amazing that someone googled about praying mantises and found me...coincidentally enough, I also tried to figure out it it was mantises or manti, and I am fairly certain it is mantises. :-)

mimi said...

Now all you need is a worm box for plant fertilizer.