Monday, September 10, 2012

Nature: Praying Mantis

This week at work one of employee’s out at the shop found a praying mantis in a load of steel that they got in from across the country. Tim called and said “Hey we have a praying mantis here, you interested in it for school?”

and I was like “Are you kidding?!!? Of COURSE we want it!”

Treyton has always been infatuated with praying mantis’, we have watched hours of videos online of praying mantis vs. you name the prey videos.

Tim brought him home and we researched how to make a good habitat for him. After we put the praying mantis in his home the kids and I went out to catch some bugs. We caught several grasshoppers. We had put one in the cage and then gone out to get some more, when we came back in we found him already munching on the one we had put in. I quick grabbed the camera and got a little on film.

In the past week we have watched him eat at least half a dozen grasshoppers and a moth. We have put other bugs in their too but haven’t seen him eat them (though they are no longer in there). I am thinking he eats more at night when we’re not sitting there staring at him!  IMG_4424I had Treyton draw a picture of him in his nature journal, which he did a really great job on. I really appreciated his detail on his arms, which we catch him using a lot to clean his face and head.We did measure him (through the glass) and he’s nearly 4 inches long, which is a nice size for a mantis.

We have had so much fun watching him, it’s seriously amazing. And although I refer to him as a him, we haven’t had the chance to check and see if he’s a he or a she.IMG_4341

UPDATE: I looked it up and it said the easiest way to sex the mantis without having both genders is to count the abdomen parts (which I just so happen to have a picture of for you). The female has 6, the male has 8. Our mantis is typically not up against the glass this clearly, to check out easily, however, from the picture I would guess it’s a “she”.

Books We’ve Read:


Virginia Lee said...

Catching a praying mantis is a treat. We have caught a couple and spent hours watching them before letting them go.

One we kept and it had babies that proceeded to eat each other. Not uncommon with Praying Mantises we've read. But FYI if yours does make an egg case.

Great Nature Journal entry Treyton!

JustCorey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JustCorey said...

My boys recently got to see a praying mantis up close to... it was on the outside of our sliding glass door just chillin. They loved looking at the new insect... they normally only see moths, flies, and ants. My boys were 8 months and 28 months at the time :)

Mama Teaching 3 said...

I had no idea you could find out what they were that way! :) I need to remember that one for Remy. He catches them each year. He didn't find one this year and has been so sad about it. My husband found one while we were away at my mother's house. Enjoy the sweet little visitor.