Thursday, March 27, 2008

Goodbye, little prince

His life has come to a sudden end.

He had been doing very well. His coloring was a bright green. He had a great appetite, much better in fact than other adult male mantids I had kept.

In my experience, male mantids usually have only one thing on their mind, and I often had trouble getting them to eat in captivity. I had decided that I would keep feeding this male every day, as long as he was interested. It would build up his strength for mating with the female, who was also eating very well, and growing fat.

Then a few days ago, the female produced an egg case. It was unfertilized, of course. I was thinking I would try to put them together soon, before she layed eggs again.

Around the same time, the male's appetite started to drop off. And he was becoming less active. I guess I didn't realize it at the time, but it was the beginning of the end for him. Last night, I dropped 2 big moths in the female's container, and a small moth in the male's. This morning, I checked to see if he had eaten it, and I found him near death.

There will be no nursing back to health this time. He is already too far gone.

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