Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yet Another Birth Announcement

Look who joined me for coffee this morning.

There was a little hatching mishap over the weekend.

In March I ordered three Chinese Praying Mantis Ootheca.  Unfortunately they arrived when I was ill.  Not only was their home made cage not ready but the poor dears spent a day or two cooking in the black metal mailbox in full sun.

I drilled a few holes in the plastic pretzel barrel and set the ootheca on the bottom, rather than hanging them up from a nest of sticks.  After more than a month, I gave up hope that they would hatch.

This is my very lame apology for the fact that the lid was not all the way on the pretzel jar when at least a thousand.

My son and his friend discovered the hatching on Sunday.  The nymphs must have just started hatching because only a couple hundred were running around loose in the library.

I quickly finished the mantis habitat with a piece of screen and some duct tape for proper ventilation plus sticks for climbing.

My son rounded up as many nymphs as he could.  Obviously a few are still making the rounds of the house.

I'm going to set this little guy outside with the other liberated nymphs.  Hopefully they will eat lots of mosquitoes, grow up and lay ootheca of their own.

Their siblings in captivity aren't faring as well.  I'm not having much success catching fruit flies for the nymphs and the tiny crickets I bought at petsmart are too big.  The nymphs are coping with the problem.

Alas alack, the fratricide has begun.  

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