A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Unexpected Guest

I feel like my blog is getting boring, I think I am losing readers. Either that... or my posts are so boring that it leaves people speechless. Not that I write on my blog just for people to comment on it, but it is always nice to get comments. I have decided to try and mix things up and try and be more entertaining.
Today I want to tell you about an unexpected guest that I ran into while watering my flowers. I don't know where he came from, but I have a praying mantis that now lives in my flowers. Just one... in the same spot every day. He did not like me taking his picture, but I got one. I decided to name him Herman. I was talking to my friend Kirsten when trying to take his picture. She told me it was a she... because the females kill the males after mating. Insects are so brutal.
Not that I didn't believe her, but I decided to ask Cha Cha anyway. For those of you who don't know... you can text Cha Cha (242242) ANYTHING and Cha Cha always texts you back right away with a brilliant answer. It's pretty awesome. Anyway, Cha Cha told me it was true. So Herman is probably a she and I should probably change the name to Hermana... which I guess would mean sister in Spanish. I think I am still going to call it Herman.

Here are some facts about the Praying Mantis...
The Praying Mantis is a large carnivorous insect, part of the Mantidae family of the Montodea order. There are more than 2,000 montodea species worldwide, with the majority being in the mantidae family.

The praying mantis received its name because of how they hold their front fore legs. When at rest, their front fore legs are held together in a praying manner. In Greek the word "mantis" stands for prophet or fortune
teller. Adult praying mantis can range from three to six inches long. The body is green, tan or brown depending on species. They have a big head and two big front fore legs with rows of sharp spikes for holding food.
The middle and back legs are much slimmer than the front fore legs. Praying mantis have tong, narrow wings that cover their abdomen. Baby mantis look just like the adults, except they do not have wings.
The praying mantis mating season is the summer time. After mating the female praying mantis will eat the male, often starting with the head. Come autumn the female will lay their eggs (anywhere from 10 to 400 eggs), in clusters called oothecas.
Tiny praying mantis will emerge from the ootheca, from a zipper like seam, in spring or early summer. If there is not sufficient food around, a praying mantis's first meal will often be a sibling.
The growing season consists of an entire summer for a praying mantis. It takes one growing season for a praying mantis to mature to adulthood.
When searching for food, the praying mantis will patiently wait for an insect of the right size to pass by. When an insect is close enough the praying mantis will strike out with its fore legs and grab the prey.
While still alive the praying mantis will almost always start to eat the catch. They quickly go for the neck of the insect, to end the struggle.
Praying mantises eat insects, other mantises, spiders, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, small tree frogs and lizards. Every now and again they have been known to catch unsuspecting hummingbirds.


Erin Masi said...

I haven't stopped reading! I'm just not very good at posting comments...keep the posts coming! I love reading them!

jamie hixon said...

Hummingbirds?! The whole praying mantis mentality is pretty brutal.
Surprised you didn't go for the name Zorak or Zingore (the lady mantis Zorak sings about).
I do like the name Herman.

Desiree said...

We had one just like yours in our yard a couple of weeks ago. I haven't seen him/her since though. Funny story. When my sister and I were young, exploring the backyard, my sister found a little nest thing on a branch, assumed it was empty, thought it looked cool and brought it into the house. We put it in a bottle with holes in the lid. We woke up one morning however finding our kitchen COVERED in baby praying mantis's. From what I hear, it's ILLEGAL to kill a praying mantis in KY so we had to round them up and put them out. Crazy, but very memorable experience. :)

Lynette Mills said...

Maybe you should find some insects and feed it Tracy...