After searching for more food for the mantis, we've added a large grasshopper and a large cockroach. Yes a roach. This has added even more excitement around the tank.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Saturday, July 30, 2005
With our school studies in recess over the last week, the hullaballo has been over our big bug tank. The two praying mantis are checked frequently, as we watch them catch their prey. What we are also noticing, is that they are beginning to interact with each other.
It is a slow approach, but gradually one will approach another. Once we did see what seemed to be an attack when one mantis got too close to the other. However, after more research, I'm beginning to think we have a male and female, and what we are seeing is possibly the initial signs of courtship.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Today was interesting. After doing a quick drop of an assortment of beetles plucked from our Lamb's Ear, I thought I would check this morning and see if there was any evidence of a feast. I turned on the light for the bug tank and discovered one of the praying mantis already in mid feast. We all had the opportunity to watch the mantis dine on a beetle.
Then later this afternoon we collected a new round of gourmet beetles, and we were witnesses to a quick kill by by one of the mantis. Just prior to the drop we also saw a little bit of rivalry between the two mantis. Hopefully, the large assortment of food will break them up as one seems to be eating while the other hasn't had any luck - at least none we've seen.
We have been longing for caterpillar and butterfly sightings all summer, but have never been blessed with more than a glimpse or a quick flitter of one passing quickly by. Today made it all worth it as we watched a very busy Eastern Tiger Swallowtail visit our verbena patches in the garden for 10-15 minutes. The butterfly cared very little about how close we were able to get to it (demonstrated by Grace), as it worked diligently hitting every flower in the patch.
What a great blessing!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
In a desperate effort to get myself and the kids out in this stifling heat, we all headed out to the flower garden with our clippers to deadhead the stalks of our bee balm, lambs ear and daylillies. I've been staring at the remains for weeks, but couldn't bear the thought of going out in the strong heat of day with this pregnancy.
We were all red faced and dripping with sweat when we made the discovery of two young praying mantis' moving along the daylillies. With a spare 10 gallon tank available, we decided to give the mantis' a luxury bug box, filled with rich soil, logs, sticks, grass, water, bee balm stalks and for fun...sand and shells. We'll probably release them in a week or two, but so far it has been a great education to watch their fascination behavior.
Now the hard part...finding food so they don't eat each other.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Today Grace had her first set of two moths to identify. Once identified she then wrote the names of both moths on notebook paper which we cut out and placed in their respective places next to the moths in the riker mount.
It is coming together!