Friday Fun – Baby Praying Mantises
It happened. On Wednesday I smelled an unusual, very sweet odor in the kitchen. I looked around and discovered it was coming from the praying mantis egg. Little baby praying mantises were streaming from the egg into the small plastic cup. I moved the cup into a butterfly cage hoping that would prevent them from eating each other until the kids got home from school to release them. It seemed to work.
We released most of the mantises but the kids are keeping 1-2 each for a while. Today I went to the pet store in search of food for them. It’s amazing what is in those stores when you really look! I came home with a jar full of flightless fruit flies.
Flightless fruit flies have a mutation that either prevents wings from appearing or results in very small wings that don’t support flight. They are excellent for feeding small critters as you don’t have to worry about turning your whole house into a fly habitat. It brings me back to my undergraduate genetics lab when we had to culture fruit flies. If I only knew I was training myself to be a provider for mantises.
The baby mantises are really cute and tiny. Take a look: