Sunday, October 25, 2009

Manty Update

Thought we'd update you guys on our efforts to feed the little guy. A few days after I caught him, I spied a pincer-bug on the ground outside our apartment so I scooped it into a paper cup. The pincer bug started crawling out, and I got squeamish, so I dropped the cup on the ground and stepped on the lid to close it. Unfortunately, I stepped on the bug too, so he died. I threw him in the tupperware anyway to see if I could trick Manty into eating it if I shook the cage, but to no avail.

A few days later, M and I went on a bug hunt outside and found a roly-poly/pillbug. We were pretty excited about this matchup, since the roly-poly is engineered for protection. The mantis circled him a few times, then struck and the roly-poly rolled into a ball. The mantis chewed at the shell a few times and then let him go. We were pretty impressed that the roly-poly's protective measures were so effective, but he promptly crawled into a puddle of water and drowned, so that didn't last long.

Yesterday, I saw something on the ground near my pile of clothes and realized it was a spider (!). M and I quickly caught it, and tried to put it in the tupperware. At some point, we accidentally opened the cage and Manty got out and the spider was crawling around on our table. I ran away screaming, and M had to flip the tupperware over to recapture Manty. Eventually, after much ado, we got the spider into Manty's makeshift home. Manty mostly ignored the spider, which was actually so brave as to crawl around on Manty's legs, which really freaked us out. Eventually, Manty decided to strike, and he struck out at the spider, but the spider got away. When we looked more closely, I noticed that he was munching on something. So I counted the legs on the spider: 7. Aaaaah!

We had to head out to flag football for DC's birthday, so we brought him along. Manty snacked on a couple more of Spidey's legs before the spider just died out of shock. What a cruel cruel bug. While we were out, DC caught and threw a mosquito in there, but Manty ignored him.

So anyway, we haven't had much success feeding him. I think he's really just looking for his freedom, so we may just let him go soon. Just not sure where to let him go, and it's getting cold so I'd hate for him to just die because we left him out in the cold.


Amy said...

it sounds like you're getting attached to "manty"...


and i can just imagine you running away and screaming (like a girl).

Vicky said...

my friend had a praying mantis for a while and they fed it lots of flies. but then later it died and they don't know why...maybe they don't do well in captivity?

Ingrid said...

Hi Josh! I had a mantis for a month as a pet. His name was Lucky. The best thing to feed them are flies. flies are easy to catch if they are resting on something, just slowly ease an open large ziplock bag over them, moving vertically, not horizontally. They react to sudden movements. Also, the mantis needs a little bit of water, like fill a soda bottle cap and put it in his cage. Don't put large crickets as they'll eat manty's legs, which happened to Lucky so we had to euthanize him.

Ingrid said...

oh yah! they are friendly creatures and will walk on your hands and don't scare easily. you can actually feed them by hand if you spear a fly with a toothpick, which i had to do for lucky after he had no feet. :)

J.Dou said...

Ingo, that set of comments was straight amazing. I can picture everything you were talking about.

I never did let him walk around on me.

We decided to let him go :/ because he was getting weak. We just couldn't take care of him. Hmm kind of freaks me out that I can't take care of a mantis when I'm supposed to make babies in a few years.