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

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Old 08-30-2007, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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..she bit his arms off and ate his eye........ :

Ah, the love life of a praying mantis

Ds caught a beautiful green praying mantis last week. We have a special mesh insect habitat container that we keep bugs in for a period of time before releasing them. Then, he caught a smaller, brown pm "to keep the first one company"(!). We learned ("we") that the females are green (and, larger), males are brown.

Ds captured moths and other insects and kept them fed quite nicely. Last evening, we watched as their behaviour towards each other changed. They did a sort of "dance" walking this way and that. Finally, she decided that he was a good choice as the father of her future offspring and they began mating.

When they had actually "connected", the female backed-up and they were bent right at the connection of their abdomens, like this: /\. She then neatly bit-off his two arms (the ones that look nasty!) and ate one of his eyes. Poor thing, he had no chance.

They coupled for 5 hours!! Yes, we timed it. Talk about our having an exciting lifestyle...............

During this time, she ate some moths (I guess food and sex go together in all species!) and proceeded to, literally, drain the male with her pumping action. He went from being rounded to as flat as possible. From () to __

Ds surmised that "Male mantises are nothing but sperm in a shell and don't have much fun with the ladies." (his words!).

Towards the end, she walked around the habitat for about 20 minutes, bending this way and that, dragging him over leaves and rocks, trying to release him as he held on, weakly, to whatever he could with his four legs.

Finally, he dropped-off and to the bottom, his legs still moving slightly (whether he was alive or not, I don't know (I sincerely hope not)). Probably automatic nervous system reflexes.

(((Try not to think about all this when you snuggle-up to your husband tonight and want to make love! Though that very final bit does sound familiar....)))

She did NOT eat the male. Not even a nibble (he is still where he fell, untouched and flat). I guess she prefers the other (juicier) insects that ds keeps adding to her habitat!

So, now we await her initiation of egg-laying. It will be cool, because we know just where the egg case will be all Winter (in the habitat) and what to watch for next Spring (hundreds of miniature mantises on silken threads)!

I honestly don't know if we would have done all this had ds been in regular school. I know I wouldn't spend some time each day catching insects to feed her! Ds went through several books of insects to learn about mantises and looked them up on the Internet and found out all sorts of really fascinating information about them.

He also has a pill bug habitat (which I will allow into our house all Winter) and a black widow spider (which he keeps away from me as I am known as the "Spider Killer" in these here parts! ) We are still negotiating as to where SHE will spend the cold months (I'm saying the garage, ds says the house. I am pretty sure I will win this one!)

So, how's the bug life in your area?!
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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Wow! I'm equal parts fascinated and shocked. Very, very interesting stuff going on at your house right now! How old is your son?

Melanie
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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That was completely fascinating to read! And the intro really cracked me up. Last year, on a visit to the science center, one of the child volunteers had a large female praying mantis in a container. We stopped to admire it and then he pointed to some lifeless brown thing in the corner and said, "That was her mate." Oh my!

I hope you update when her eggs hatch. I would love to hear about that!
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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yeah - they don't get to see THAT in school, that's for sure!!! What an awesome lesson and great narrative. I hope you save it.

Dani, wife to Cullen - 9/2002, mom to CJ 11/2004, Billy 12/2007 and Nora 7/2009
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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They coupled for 5 hours!! Yes, we timed it.
Jeeze, don't they warn you about that on the Viagra commerials? No wonder he died



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So, how's the bug life in your area?!
We are still waiting for our cacoon to open (hatch?). I'm beginning to think it's a dud
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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That was TOTALLY awesome!!! I learned something new!!!!! Now I want my own praying mantis!!!
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds is 8 (going on 45!).

I asked ds what happens to the female and he explained that she will die after laying her eggs.

I mentioned that that was a little sad (trying to sound compassionate). She won't see her babies and that they'll not know her.

His reply:

"Oh, Mom, c'mon. They're insects. They don't have sentimental thoughts. Besides, there will be hundreds of young. Do you really think that she'd be homeschooling and talking to each one of them?? No way! When they hatch they say, "See ya, I'm outta here!" and they go tear into the first smaller bug they find. Life goes on."

With that, he returned to reading his latest "Hardy Boys" mystery and munching on a piece of a cake he baked yesterday.

Sigh.......................
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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That sounds totally fascinating. I sorta wished you had taped it and put it on YouTube.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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your ds is so cool!
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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Did you put on some Barry White for them?

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Did you put on some Barry White for them?


What a fascinating story and what a cool son you have!

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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We are still waiting for our cacoon to open (hatch?). I'm beginning to think it's a dud
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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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I really loved this brief glimpse into the lives of praying mantises! I have a budding entomologist as well, and he keeps me informed about all of the various insects and creepy crawlies living near our home. I draw the line at black widows though!
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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Wow! I'm equal parts fascinated and shocked. Very, very interesting stuff going on at your house right now! How old is your son?
This encompasses all three of my first reactions : Wow. Just wow. How totally cool. And wow.

The only exciting thing happening here is that we discovered a hidden spider in the dining room, because we found a little cache of ant carcasses (at least SOMETHING is killing them!) in the corner of the dining room carpet under a chair. No spider to be seen, but some form of web is also visible. That's pretty much it Your house is way cooler! (And your intro cracked me up too!)

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Ds surmised that "Male mantises are nothing but sperm in a shell and don't have much fun with the ladies." (his words!).
So cute!! What a great day!

Greenlee's Forest *intentional jewelry* a secret Journal locket!
Me My Blog Mama to 7 babes & four spirit babies
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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I love this forum!
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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I'm printing this out for my dh, and everyone else I know to read. That is EXACTLY why we want to homeschool. So incredibly cool!!! Although, I will say you get MAJOR props for bringing insects into your home.... I'm working to get over my fear of them so we can do similar stuff as dd gets older. You definately get the "COOL MOM OF THE WEEK" award.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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How fascinating! I hope my son discovers how incredible insects are at some point. Right now at the sight of one he's likely to tell me, "It's just a silly little bug, Momma, squish it!" I'm never sure whether to or *sigh*!

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:10 AM
 
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What a cool experience! Thanks for sharing it. If you son loves bugs, he's got to see, "life in the undergrowth." It's really amazing, and I am not much of a bug person myself, but I learned so much from it.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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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

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Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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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

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Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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Old 08-31-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:42 AM
 
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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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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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.


Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 08-31-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:29 PM
 
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Did you put on some Barry White for them?

:

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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.

Lola , loving my DH, Mama to & we &
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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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
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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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. :
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