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They met. They knew. They decided to make love. (UPDATE!!! See #47 She's a tramp!) - Page 2

post #21 of 49
Wow! That's so cool. Now I know that the giant mantis that scared the crap out of me last night was a female! We were on the back patio eating ice cream when my arm brushed up against a big moving thing...

I just thought it was super sized b/c of the great cricket population we've got going on around here! I must have only seen males before.
post #22 of 49
Awesome story. I love your son's comments.

I just wanted to post a little warning to you about the babies. I read a story at a different site about another family who had preying mantises that mated and several people there warned the poster to have very very small mesh on the habitat. Apparently the babies are tiny and some people had them get out and had baby preying mantises all over the house.
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by chann96 View Post
Awesome story. I love your son's comments.

I just wanted to post a little warning to you about the babies. I read a story at a different site about another family who had preying mantises that mated and several people there warned the poster to have very very small mesh on the habitat. Apparently the babies are tiny and some people had them get out and had baby preying mantises all over the house.
I've also read you need food sources for them immediately after they emerge or they will eat each other.
How fun is homeschooling! - lol
post #24 of 49
Thanks so much for posting this story!! Interesting. I am trying to stop being so squeamish about bugs for Ds sake. Your son is such a cool kid! I love his comments.
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Great story!

Can I add my learning about bug sex story?

Last fall we found a giant slug on our driveway. He/she was about 8 - 9 inches stretched out. We put it in our bug habitat to watch for a while. About two days after we caught it it laid eggs - so we researched.
Here's what we found out about slugs:
~ they are hermaphroditic but prefer to mate with other slugs rather than to mate with themselves (self mate?)
~ they have a very long elaborate mating ritual in which they display their disproportionately large male genetalia over their heads (their penises are about half the size of their bodies and are light blue)
~ They copulate in midair, suspended by stretchy strands of mucus up to 17 3/4 inches Wanna see - lol?
~ One of the slugs has to gnaw off the penis of the other in order to disengage and the one that loses the penis becomes female only.

All this happened just in time to share at thanksgiving dinner - rofl.
Karen
That is excellent. Who knew? I didn't! I am loving these bizarre insect stories.
post #26 of 49
I sent a link to the original post about praying mantids to my dh who is out of town for 5 weeks, but will be coming home for the weekend. He wrote back that he was amazed and horrified. Then he asked that when he comes home, I leave his arms and eye intact since he's already in enough pain with having had a work-related injury last week

So neat. Thanks for the stories.

I have only a question.

We were outside. I should mention that ds1 has an uncanny ability to convince small creatures to board his arms and hands. This time, he stretched out his hand to invite a large green grasshopper who came willingly and after a minute or so of sitting there, turning around a few times and I swear it looked very much like it looked right into ds1's face, it lifted it's hind leg, and proceeded to 'saw' a cut into ds1's finger. Ds1 said "OW!" and brought his hand up to look at what the grasshopper had done. The grasshopper didn't hop off until I came too close to see. It indeed left a straight cut in ds1's finger that took over a week to heal, too. Has anyone experienced this? So strange. Or maybe not, but I used to catch grasshoppers all the time when I was a child and I never had that happen.

post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I've also read you need food sources for them immediately after they emerge or they will eat each other.
How fun is homeschooling! - lol

LOL I kind of take that one as a given with most creatures that hatch by the dozens - bugs, spiders, fish. I'm sure some don't, but I just add that to the list of lovely little basic biological facts. I do love trying to come up with the nicest way to explain some of them to my daughter. "Well, honey, the owl is going to eat the mouse for dinner..." It has certainly expanded my abilities to explain things in different words than I usually would have.
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
Did you put on some Barry White for them?

:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Great story!

Can I add my learning about bug sex story?

Last fall we found a giant slug on our driveway. He/she was about 8 - 9 inches stretched out. We put it in our bug habitat to watch for a while. About two days after we caught it it laid eggs - so we researched.
Here's what we found out about slugs:
~ they are hermaphroditic but prefer to mate with other slugs rather than to mate with themselves (self mate?)
~ they have a very long elaborate mating ritual in which they display their disproportionately large male genetalia over their heads (their penises are about half the size of their bodies and are light blue)
~ They copulate in midair, suspended by stretchy strands of mucus up to 17 3/4 inches Wanna see - lol?
~ One of the slugs has to gnaw off the penis of the other in order to disengage and the one that loses the penis becomes female only.

All this happened just in time to share at thanksgiving dinner - rofl.
Karen
So Cool.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphygt View Post
Our tobacco hornworm never hatched after waiting a few months. It turns out they'll dry out if you don't keep some humidity in their enclosure.
Oh no. I think we have a goner then
post #30 of 49
I love it! I also have a budding entomologist, but we haven't had much luck finding more than ants or spiders or the occasional beetle bug. We did find a really giant grasshopper by the Library a while back, but ds1 pulled it's leg off on accident when he grabbed it. : Ds2 is very squeamish around insects, especially after watching his brother tear the leg off the grasshopper. Poor ds2 cried, but ds1 thought it was hysterical. It still hopped, too.

Does anyone have any tips on good places to find more than ants? We're in FL, if it matters. Now I am dying to see the mating ritual of a PM. :
post #31 of 49
Amazing!! I am afraid of praying mantises, lol. I found one in the garden when I was a kid and it scared the heck out of me and it scarred me for life, rofl !
post #32 of 49
To the op, your son's comments had me lol. Oh, and about the slugs, I clicked to see the pic and that big blue penis was a bit frightening lol.
post #33 of 49
yeah, I've never seen a slug penis....I think I could have lived a happy life without ever seeing that.

Why are bug mating rituals so violent?! Sheesh!
post #34 of 49
OMG! That's classic!

No bugs here, we did just get our fish tank set up last week and it looks like our one Molly Fish is preggers. This should be an interesting experiment. And no Molly Fish were harmed in the mating ritual.
post #35 of 49
Things to be thankful for today: I am not a male mantis. I am not a slug. Thank you God.

Nausea aside, this is a really interesting thread.
post #36 of 49
Thread Starter 
Well, Nature took its course and our green female mantis has laid her eggs, 19 days after mating!!! : (<---- pretend it's just an excited & weird-looking mantid and not dancing broccoli!)

She had been getting fatter and fatter. We weren't sure whether she was developing eggs or just filling-out from eating the moths and crickets we caught and fed her with each day!

(Things you never think you'll do: catching moths, by flashlight, outside, at night, to feed a hopefully-pregnant praying mantis and a huge black widow spider, while your child takes his bath inside!!)

The eggs come out in a frothy "foam" from the rear end of her abdomen. She slowly moves her bottom in a circular/spiral movement while the eggs are being released and this foam then hardens into the tan-coloured protective case. It took about an hour for her to finish.

Anyway, we also captured another praying mantis a few days ago and she laid eggs yesterday on a branch in her habitat container.

Both Moms are still alive and eating the crickets and moths we give them. Both also will drink water from an eye dropper that we give them several times a day + we sprinkle water on the foliage we have placed in their habitats. Our research says they die after laying their eggs They look pretty chipper to us and are still eating well, so who knows. If they continue to live, we will keep them inside, in new habitats (the egg habitats will remain outside all Winter), and feed them purchased crickets.

So, we now had two egg cases to watch next Spring! Hundreds of baby mantids to release in our yard and garden. Cool!
post #37 of 49
OK, you definately win the "Cool Mom Of The Year" award! I can not imagine me catching anything much less keeping critters inside my house. I only aspire to be as cool as you someday!!
post #38 of 49
That is so cool! I thought about you the other day when truck shopping. There was a praying mantis in the back of the truck we ended up buying. I think it was a sign. I want to find one to keep as a pet - but no luck so far. Instead we have a spider.
post #39 of 49
My DS also has caught a PM. DS is 5. We kept it in a bug habitat and went around catching insects for it to eat, too. It was slightly odd to find myself out at night chasing bugs to feed the PM. I DO NOT LIKE BUGS. We also sat up bait stations to catch friut flies for her. She was a very young PM so couldn't eat bigger crickets. We didn't keep her long though. Maybe 7-10 days. All this bug hunting led to indepth discussion of how humans have had to hunt and gather for food since there have not always been grocery stores right across the street. After hunting day after day for insects, DS comes to me and says, "can we please let the PM go so she can hunt for her own food. I'm really glad we can go to the grocery for food. Boy, this sure is hard work. No wonder grocery stores were invented." So, needless to say, we let our PM loose in our huge lavender plant where she looked very happy to be.

Very cool that you now have 2 egg cases to watch next Spring.
post #40 of 49
I have enjoyed this thread! Congrats on your two eggcases! Keep us updated on the PM Mamas, please; I am on the edge of my seat to hear if they'll keel over now that they've layed eggs.

Your son sounds so cool!

And home schooling ROCKS!!! : : :
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › They met. They knew. They decided to make love. (UPDATE!!! See #47 She's a tramp!)