Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The latest additions

Wide-arm mantids. Cilnia humeralis

I only just learned of their existence at the beginning of the year. An African species. I found a place to order some, and they arrived today. Here's a first look:

Right out of the box, still in their travel containers.

I was a little disappointed by how small they are, since they had been advertised as L5, eating blue bottle flies. I hoped they would be of a sexable size so I could get a male and a female. Nick, the mantis guy, told me they were actually still too small to guarantee the sex, but he would try to pick out one of each. At that point, I figured they must be pretty tiny, and it turns out I was right.

They are bright and healthy, however. There is a green one that's a little bigger, and a multi-colored one. They had been shipped with a couple of fly pupae. The little guy had 2 dead flies in his jar, while the bigger one had a still-alive fly. As I set their containers side by side on my kitchen table, it was clear that the little guy was very interested in the fly in the other container, so I transferred the fly to him, and he caught it immediately.

Photos taken through the plastic container, so they're a little foggy looking.

Look at his pink eyes.

The bigger green one pops out to say hello.

A fat little bottom. No wonder he didn't want the fly.

Here's a view of the little guy's bum. It is hard to tell at this size, but I think they are different sexes, and I think this one looks female. Maybe.

What to you think, Nick?

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