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Isabel Cutler | profile | all galleries >> My Chinese Praying Mantis Egg Case Adventure tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

My Chinese Praying Mantis Egg Case Adventure

Update: Original starting picture here: http://www.pbase.com/isabel95/image/80087625
A member of my Digipets digital pet photography Yahoo group said her husband suggested she order a Praying Mantis Kit into which an egg case would be placed, so she could watch the emergence of the mantids and photograph them as they developed. That sounded like fun to me so I ordered a kit too. I really didn't know how involved this kit would become! First I had to order the egg case (ootheca). Then I had to order flightless fruit flies to feed the babies. I would also have to culture the flies so I would not run out of them. The egg case was ordered May 7. The fruit fly culture arrived a couple of weeks ago. The instructions said the mantis babies would start hatching in about 2 weeks. (Somehow I missed the part about it possibly taking up to 8 weeks.) The instructions that came with the fly culture said to start new cultures in the enclosed containers. There were no enclosed containers. There was no new food for the new containers I was supposed to start. On the phone again. Had to order the food. Meanwhile I'm watching the flies and thinking they're beginning to die off and the case hasn't hatched yet. Finally, today, June 6, the blessed event occurred and I have at least 100 baby mantids. I do not have 100 fruit flies. Hungry baby mantids will feast on each other. Normally my garlic chives outside are covered with tiny black aphids that would be wonderful food for the babies - this year - just about none. Insects are in short supply. I'm going to have to go out with a magnifying glass to find more food for my babies or order more flies. Oh yes, I forgot...yesterday I ordered fly culture food...another $12. I won't tell you how much this experiment has cost so far. My next hunt is for pinhead crickets - those'll have to be shipped in too. They're for feeding when the mantids get a bit larger. Internal flash used with camera in manual mode. Update: Found a neighbor with a motherlode of aphids. I stripped the leaves off the plant with their hitchhikers and placed them in a jar covered with a piece of stocking - hopefully they won't squeeze through. When the babies get a bit larger I will put a leaf in their environment. Can't wait to see what's going to happen when they start eating. (Supposed to wait a couple of days before I feed them. In the meantime they're just getting water from the cotton pads I put in the case. Please observe that I have used various cameras for these shots. The greater depth of field from digicams can be quite helpful. The lcd screen brightening function in the Fuji F30 is extremely helpful in bright sun.

Info about the Chinese Praying Mantis can be found here:
http://www.mantisuk.com/keeping/oothecas.asp
http://www.centralpets.com/animals/insects/praying_mantis/pry5784.html
Check out Judith Barnett's Mantis gallery here. Her egg case hatched a couple of weeks before mine, and she's the cause of my taking on this fascinating project: http://www.pbase.com/pooh4jvn/prayingmantis
By the way, you don't have to buy expensive fruit fly culture medium - you can make your own. There's a recipe on this page: http://www.petfish.net/articles/Foods_And_Feeding/fruit_fly.php
_MG_9762 You Again?
_MG_9762 You Again?
_MG_0295 Praying Mantis
_MG_0295 Praying Mantis
DSCF6087 Praying Mantis
DSCF6087 Praying Mantis
_MG_0205 Giving Thanks?
_MG_0205 Giving Thanks?
DSC02880 Benediction
DSC02880 Benediction
_MG_2308 Protective
_MG_2308 Protective
_MG_6060 Watching Ricky
_MG_6060 Watching Ricky
_MG_6071 Eyes on Me
_MG_6071 Eyes on Me
_MG_6076 Watching my every move
_MG_6076 Watching my every move
_MG_2277 One of my babies?
_MG_2277 One of my babies?
IMG_6092-A610 Mantis
IMG_6092-A610 Mantis
_MG_2293-60mmmacroXTI.jpg
_MG_2293-60mmmacroXTI.jpg
_MG_2294 Checking me out.jpg
_MG_2294 Checking me out.jpg
_MG_2296 How big?
_MG_2296 How big?
_MG_2163 Surprise in the Liriope
_MG_2163 Surprise in the Liriope
MG_2170 Smile for the Camera
MG_2170 Smile for the Camera
Older Mantis Pictures
:: Older Mantis Pictures ::
IMG_5411 Mantis Babies
IMG_5411 Mantis Babies
_MG_7567 Just Hangin Out
_MG_7567 Just Hangin Out
_MG_7574 Big Crop
_MG_7574 Big Crop
_MG_7575. Thirsty
_MG_7575. Thirsty
_MG_7576 Curious Hatchling
_MG_7576 Curious Hatchling
_MG_7583 Taking a breather
_MG_7583 Taking a breather
_MG_7588 Dirt on Plastic
_MG_7588 Dirt on Plastic
_MG_7591Ootheca
_MG_7591Ootheca
_MG_7594 King of the Mountain
_MG_7594 King of the Mountain
IMG_0050 On leaf with aphids
IMG_0050 On leaf with aphids
IMG_0051 My eye's on you
IMG_0051 My eye's on you
IMG_7220 Do you mind? (said with an attitude)
IMG_7220 Do you mind? (said with an attitude)
IMG_7223 Excuse me!
IMG_7223 Excuse me!
IMG_0001 Escapee
IMG_0001 Escapee
IMG_0006 With Tripod
IMG_0006 With Tripod
DSCF3471 Fuji Macro
DSCF3471 Fuji Macro
DSCF3484 Fuji Macro
DSCF3484 Fuji Macro
DSCF3496 on Zinnia Leaf
DSCF3496 on Zinnia Leaf
DSCF3501 on Zinnia Leaf
DSCF3501 on Zinnia Leaf
DSCF3513 Mine
DSCF3513 Mine
DSCF3516 Mantis Nymph
DSCF3516 Mantis Nymph
_MG_7663 - 11mm head to tail
_MG_7663 - 11mm head to tail
DSCF3533 Menu is Improving
DSCF3533 Menu is Improving
IMG_5415 Lunch
IMG_5415 Lunch
_MG_7682 Smart Sharpen Lens Blur
_MG_7682 Smart Sharpen Lens Blur
_MG_7709 Off Camera Softbox Flash
_MG_7709 Off Camera Softbox Flash
IMG_5427 OffCameraShoe Cord 2-Softbox
IMG_5427 OffCameraShoe Cord 2-Softbox
IMG_0019-10 days old
IMG_0019-10 days old
IMG_0031-13 days old
IMG_0031-13 days old
IMG_0036 Opportunist
IMG_0036 Opportunist
IMG_0079-100% Crop
IMG_0079-100% Crop
IMG_0098 -15 days
IMG_0098 -15 days
IMG_0102 15 days
IMG_0102 15 days
IMG_0106-16 days old
IMG_0106-16 days old
_MG_7769 teleconverter 17 days
_MG_7769 teleconverter 17 days
_MG_7780 18 days
_MG_7780 18 days
_MG_7782 No Flash
_MG_7782 No Flash
_MG_7785 Eyes
_MG_7785 Eyes
IMG_0206 Both 19 days old
IMG_0206 Both 19 days old
_MG_7793 20 days
_MG_7793 20 days
_MG_7799 Lunchtime
_MG_7799 Lunchtime
_MG_7804 Ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeMille
_MG_7804 Ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeMille
_MG_7805 How's this for demure?
_MG_7805 How's this for "demure"?
_MG_7811 21st day
_MG_7811 21st day
_MG_7817 A Sad End
_MG_7817 A Sad End
_MG_7819 Survivor
_MG_7819 Survivor
_MG_7820 All not lost yet!
_MG_7820 All not lost yet!
_MG_0114 Big Drop
_MG_0114 Big Drop
_MG_7875 Wayward Child on Scarlette Leucothoe
_MG_7875 Wayward Child on Scarlette Leucothoe
_MG_7876 On the run
_MG_7876 On the run
_MG_7903 On the run
_MG_7903 On the run
_MG_7910 Still on Pieris
_MG_7910 Still on Pieris
_MG_7909 New Little One with Fruit Fly
_MG_7909 New Little One with Fruit Fly
_MG_7950 Making up for lost time
_MG_7950 Making up for lost time
_MG_7954 Came up to greet me!
_MG_7954 Came up to greet me!
_MG_7961 Newly Discovered Escapee
_MG_7961 Newly Discovered Escapee
_MG_7987 I beg your pardon
_MG_7987 I beg your pardon
_MG_7994 On cucumber leaf 31 days
_MG_7994 On cucumber leaf 31 days
_MG_7997 Leucothoe 31 days
_MG_7997 Leucothoe 31 days
_MG_7998 Smallest 31 days
_MG_7998 Smallest 31 days
_MG_8027 Sunbather at 32 days
_MG_8027 Sunbather at 32 days
_MG_8028 Sunbather2.
_MG_8028 Sunbather2.
_MG_8087 Finishing a Meal
_MG_8087 Finishing a Meal
_MG_8090 Eggplants are Hairy!
_MG_8090 Eggplants are Hairy!
_MG_8092 A shy glance?
_MG_8092 A shy glance?
_MG_8118 Almost Turquoise!
_MG_8118 Almost Turquoise!
_MG_8119 On the shy side
_MG_8119 On the shy side
_MG_8120 Ready for Takeoff
_MG_8120 Ready for Takeoff
_MG_0157 One Week Old Fruit Fly Culture
_MG_0157 One Week Old Fruit Fly Culture
_MG_0155 Fruit Fly Culture
_MG_0155 Fruit Fly Culture
IMG_5459 Three Culture Containers
IMG_5459 Three Culture Containers
DSCF3669 Lab Assistant
DSCF3669 Lab Assistant
_MG_8154 I thought they were gone!
_MG_8154 I thought they were gone!
_MG_8210 It pays to prune!
_MG_8210 It pays to prune!
_MG_8216 Over 2 in length
_MG_8216 Over 2" in length
_MG_8217 Wary, but curious
_MG_8217 Wary, but curious
_MG_8220 I love those mantis stares!
_MG_8220 I love those mantis stares!
_MG_0024 Hanging Out.
_MG_0024 Hanging Out.
_MG_0025 Checking me out
_MG_0025 Checking me out
_MG_8227 Do katydids eat mantids?
_MG_8227 Do katydids eat mantids?
_MG_0042 They really stay put!
_MG_0042 They really stay put!
_MG_0046 Drying off-No Flash
_MG_0046 Drying off-No Flash
_MG_0047 Drying Off-Flash
_MG_0047 Drying Off-Flash
_MG_0048 Cropped
_MG_0048 Cropped
_MG_8397 Chrysogonum virginianum Allen Bush Golden Star
_MG_8397 Chrysogonum virginianum Allen Bush Golden Star
_MG_8444 Lurking in Eggplant.-53 days old
_MG_8444 Lurking in Eggplant.-53 days old
_MG_8459 YOU again?
_MG_8459 "YOU again?"
_MG_8465 Someone's Resurfaced-Day 57
_MG_8465 Someone's Resurfaced-Day 57
_MG_8462 With Flash
_MG_8462 With Flash
_MG_8469 Eggplant Mantis
_MG_8469 Eggplant Mantis
IMG_5515 Still a Treasure
IMG_5515 Still a Treasure
IMG_5519 Love my A610 Mantis
IMG_5519 Love my A610 Mantis
_MG_8501 Happy Day
_MG_8501 Happy Day
_MG_8502 Look who's back!
_MG_8502 Look who's back!
_MG_8503 Checking Me Out
_MG_8503 Checking Me Out
_MG_8517 Not Sure
_MG_8517 Not Sure
_MG_8518 Scary
_MG_8518 Scary
_MG_8532 Changing Color?
_MG_8532 Changing Color?