We let the two mature manti out of their containers to dramatically stare each other down. It was really fun watching though we were afraid they would attack each other. The larger mantis in the foreground started backing away slowly as soon as the little one turned it’s head and noticed it was being watched. Alix used her new camera to film the event which looks amazing in 1080P which we can’t host on youtube or flickr right now. We are hoping to get that up and running soon on our web server.
We took one more video of the mantis eating which is just creepy. Be sure to click the HD so you don’t miss out on the HIGH DEFINITION CARNAGE! Enjoy!
Look! It’s head is gone and it’s still kickin’! Next update will include videos of the hunt. I started a small cricket farm in the old terrarium so there is plenty of cannon fodder for the camera.
Just a really quick garden update for those of you interested. I planted a few more veggies including some carrots, more radish, green beans, and I am trying a broccoli plant as well. The seed packet for the broccoli said I can plant them directly in the ground after the first frost (well past that now), so we will see if it grows.
I also had a tomato plant that had almost all of its leaves curling in on themselves…it looked really sickly next to the other three tomato plants…Steve went online while I was gardening today and found out that it had a in-curable virus…so I yanked it from the ground and decided to plant some green beans in place of it. No real loss there, I have three other perfectly healthy tomato plants :)
Oh and most of the lettuce I planted in the spring is gone. Most of it was pulled out and never used…mainly because they tasted nasty. Really bitter. Not because they bolted to seed (some of them did rather quickly though) but because they were just…….weirdo looking and tasting lettuce. Weirdo lettuce I am telling you. I am still experimenting in the lettuce department to find a good salad lettuce…granted I haven’t done a whole lot of research either, but that’s what i get I guess :)
There are three mantis’ left including the one pictured above. I named him Zorak after the character in Space Ghost Coast to Coast because honestly, he’s a jerk. When I still had the terrarium with the dozens of hatch-lings I placed him inside so that he’d have more room to move and climb. Unfortunately the first thing he did was attack another mantis and then devour him while the others looked on terrified. It wasn’t long until the other mantis’ paired off and then battled, the victor consuming the loser. In a matter of minutes I had lost half my manti, and I blame it all on Zorak here. He’s just a nasty, blood thirsty, cricket destroying monster.
I admit it’s fun letting him out of his container and watching him quickly descend on a helpless cricket and then proceed to eat it alive! The two larger manti are in their later stages of life and have started to develop wings which do not look large enough to permit flight. I’m hoping one is a male and the other female so I can have another egg for next season. Alix took some great HD video of Zorak eating his prey that I’ll post in a few days. It’s pretty disturbing but fascinating to see all four of his mandibles tear and shred their way through the exoskeleton of the cricket until it reaches the creamy center!
Om nom nom nom!
The smallest of the manti shed his skin today and he’s a beautiful emerald green color. The two larger ones are that dried leave color you can see in the picture and their abdomens are a very menacing violet red. I don’t know if it has anything to do with their diet or not, but the little one is still eating fruit flys while the bigger ones are only eating crickets. More updates soon!
So my dad came to visit (along with some more of my family) this past weekend and I was showing him my garden when he just spontaneously plucked a cherry tomato from my plant and ate it! Apparently they were ripe and ready to eat! Since they were still a bit orangish/yellow in color, I thought they had a bit more time to ripen…but not these little dudes. They were ready for noms. I made about 3 salads with the first small harvest of cherry tomatoes. Yum! There are a lot more growing out there, so I will be able to taste their deliciousness for many lunches to come.
I also found a few small strawberries and one of the large tomatoes was ripe as well. That was used for one of Steve’s sandwiches.
As far as the rest of the garden goes…things are growing well. The herb garden is doing REALLY well. The cilantro has exploded! And I somehow managed to save the oregano (it wasn’t doing well before). The Basil is delicious, and everything is well in the garden area of life :) I’m still learning a lot, I already made a few small mistakes, but my skills are getting better :) More updates to come!