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About this blog

A mantid enthusiast's bug log

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Busy busy busy

Just a quick update on some happenings. My smaller Egyptians are all recently molted and it turns out I have two perfect pairs! I like that it always seems to go this way. A shame, like when things happen as they did to Candy, but it works out that there are equal numbers for mating pairs at least. Lena laid her first ooth while I was at work to-day. I already took it off the lid of her tank, and compared to all other ooths, it came off impossibly easy. Gonna attach it to the lid of anothe

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Good news

Everyone always suggests two weeks, but these two share a tank with a piece of cardboard splitting it in half and had been both staying right next to it on opposite sides majority of the time. When I fed Lena to-day, she gorged on a huge cricket and I allowed him to go into her half if he wanted. He watched her eat for a couple hours until she was full to bursting (or so it looked!) and then quite suddenly, after she was finished, leapt onto her. It scared me so bad, I shot up out of my chair

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Disappointment

As proud as I was of Lena and Red Eyes, I am twice as heartbroken about Candy. As we speak, my lovely little grey eyed girl is laying limp beside me, face down, abdomen pulsing faintly. She's dying, and I don't know why. I wish there was something more I could do for her, but she won't eat and doesn't even have the strength to stand. She's like Minnie was. My poor little brown girls all seem to die like this. She had been going from lid to leaves for a few days and seemed relatively plump de

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Why hello there new forum software!

I'll have to experiment more later and see what else has changed. Just a quick few notes. Lena molted to adult while I was busy running errands. At least another 8 Carolinas hatched since last night. New flies have been ordered. Chinese apparently have been having trouble getting out due to my neglect in misting them. I wasn't expecting them to hatch this soon, or hadn't realized how much time had passed, and hadn't sprayed them in a while. Quite a few were stuck when I looked in. They're

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Oop!

Memo to self: more flies ordered TONIGHT. Big's ooths are HATCHING. CHINESE EVERYWHERE! This'll teach me not to keep track of when things were laid/due to hatch. I need many, many more flies now, and a few more big containers for all of them. Also, potentially selling them, as I just cannot raise this many, and unless I want nymph-cicles I can't release them outside yet, hahaha.

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Letters to a mantis

Dear Candy, I see how you are hanging on that leaf. Your wing buds aren't inflated but I'm warning you girlfriend, do NOT think that you can molt that close to the ground. You know better than that. I know you aren't hunting like that either as the cricket just went by you and you watched it with little to no interest. If you do this, I will be heartbroken and angry with you. Please reconsider. I can't make you move, but please, please reconsider. I'm going to bed. You'd better not do t

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'Super-manual focus'

While I'm waiting for my 58-52 step down ring to arrive, and to save up for a better flash that can shoot past the end of the 10x filter, I have been using my PnC with what I have dubbed 'super-manual focus'... that is, holding the 10x lens in my left hand and the PnC in my right and adjusting the focus length moving it back and forth. It's an imperfect science, definitely, but every few frames I get something worth showing. The flash can get pretty hampered and there's a ton of handshake issu

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Drive-by Photo

A longer update is way overdue, but in the meantime, this is what I'm the most excited about:

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Catching up

It's been rough on me, these last few weeks. I've taken a serious look at myself and wondered if I am cut out for mantis raising. I've had a lot of really stupid and unfortunate things happen and it's really made me question that. Between the amazing amount of real-life stress that I've been dealing with and the stress of trying to keep everyone alive and healthy, it's been rough for me. The tiny Egyptians are molting again, one by one, which is a good thing. Everyone has sloooowed doooown

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Before work update

Just a quickie. Good News: Second string Egyptians molting (L4?), 3 more from Minnie's ooth (which I recorded, too) and got my Macro lenses. Bad News: Candy fell while molting and I'm not sure she's gonna recover from it, my stronger macro lens doesn't fit the camera or the conversion rings, my flash doesn't hit past the end of the other lens when it's on, one of Minnie's didn't catch any flies and died, Minnie's dried body broke into three pieces. Uggh, more later I suppose.

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Egyptians, Carolinas

The second male Egyptian molted sometime during the day. He's still white, and I like that about him. I hope he stays that way. Two more from Minnie's ooth, though one got stuck and is pretty badly crippled. I'm planning to feed him to someone else at this point. He'd never make it to L2. He hardened in the face-down, arms forward position and can't get his feet under him. Got my first SLR to-day. The macro lens should arrive in the next day or two. Then it's time to experiment.

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Crickets

I read online many times about people claiming crickets were a problem. That they could potentially injure a mantis. Never until to-day did I realize just how dangerous they were. I discovered this morning that a cricket I had put in Chartreuse's cup had chewed through the mesh at the top and escaped into the night, so to speak. I'm going to be cleaning up my room and seeing what I can find, and in the worst case scenario, it will starve or my cat will get it. And then I saw Big. I can't

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AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

Just when I was getting so mad at the limbatas, I realized that Minnie's ooths that have been sitting in tiny bottles on my shelf are HATCHING! Oh my god, what a surprise! I didn't expect them to this late, they were laid in the beginning of October, almost four months ago! I even tried to 'cut test' them and they seemed dried out! But just not two tiny brown babies are crawling around in the bottle! I'm so thrilled, I don't even know what to think! Except that I have to mount the two oo

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Ugh, are you KIDDING ME?

My flies were delayed a day and when I got home, I found my limbatas all decided to feast on EACH OTHER! I thought the Egyptians were bad about munching siblings but this is CRAZY! They HALVED their numbers overnight! I cannot BELIEVE this! Ugh ugh ugh ugh UGH. I'm going to have to split up the remaining ones for the sake of survival. Never have I seen something like this before. Picking off one or two here and there is one thing but yesterday I had 14 and to-day I have f-ing 8. And one

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Comparisons and my first 'macro' shot!

Comparison of the sub-sub and sub-adult. I'm so fascinated by the large size difference between molts. MONSTER! You'll be a monster too, little one, and soon! MAJOR difference between L2 and sub-adult! And last but certainly not least... The amount of pride I have for that crop is astounding. I've never had such an amazingly clear shot on this camera. Seeing this made my desire for an SLR even greater. I want to be able to take such detailed shots all the time, not just one accide

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The new sub-adult!

...I just dropped my cookie out of my mouth, onto my pants. Considering what may have splashed onto them, I will not be eating it, no matter how it tempts me. Such is life. Anyway! I went through the photos I took (well, the new ones, anyway) and snagged the best ones. My single female, eating her first cricket. She's a voracious little eater, that's for sure. Red-Eyes hanging out on the lid to his container, scoping out the fresh crix. Now with colour-correct lighting! Hello th

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Ol' Red Eyes

Ahhh mantis rearing is so exciting! The red-eyed male (who is secretly my favourite of the larger Egyptians) molted while I was at work! He's now as big as Chartreuse is, if not a tiny bit bigger, and he has tiny little wingers! They are so small and transparent! I was right, everyone else IS sub-sub-adult! I misted the tank to make sure everyone else has good conditions for molting. Huzzah! I got a good lok t the other green one and there are definitely 6 segments on her underside. Tha

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Weirdo bug...

Candy has suddenly decided she is afraid of crickets. She's been running around her cage like she's crazy or something and threat posing at all the crickets. What is going on with her? New containers of flies should arrive tomorrow, thankfully. Everyone will be eating well again.

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I hate counting nymphs

Just a quick note-to-self, 2 male Egyptians, 1 female (?). Auto segregated inside the same tank, which is both awesome and handy.

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Big's Roommate Surprise

Not exactly mantis news, but something I found interested. I was doing a livestream of my comic inking and a friend who had never seen my mantises popped in and asked if I could give a virtual tour. I showed her everyone, handled Chartreuse for the camera and did my best to give good looks at the other nymphs, then as per my finaceé's request, pulled out Big. Everyone was very sad that Big wasn't doing so well and she wasn't gripping my hand or climbing well when I had her out. Everyone aske

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Overdue update

Still no electricity in my room. I'm very unhappy with this and currently stealing electricity from my landlord via a very long, thick, bright orange extension cord. I can only run one thing off of it at a time, so I must choose wisely which thing. Over the last few days the limbatas have been molting to L2. I love them so much. I think their bright turquoise colour is just gorgeous and it makes it easy to see them in the cup wherever I am. They're very good natured too. Such a nice speci

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Drive-by blogging

Just a quick note that Chartreuse and 2/3 of the bigger Egyptians have molted as of this afternoon. Also, the L1 limbatas arrived, 19 surviving out of 20, the last eaten en route. Memo to self: new culture of flies

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Well then.

As of quarter to three this afternoon the wiring to my room is out and there's no electricity. Moved all the babies upstairs to keep them warm. Sometimes I wouldn't believe the things that happen to me, except that they happen to me.

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Ugh.

Well, my number of Egyptians is dwindling. The two unmolted L1's died, as of this morning, without molting. Just dropped dead without too much warning. I'm a little upset about this. I also lost one of the mismolted L2's and then another who seems to have just not gotten a fly when I put a bunch in the other day. Last night I spent time watching them all to make sure everyone got one when I put them in, and for the most part, everyone did. Though... now that I think about it. I left two o

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I needed a good laugh!

The Chinese, by far, have the most personality of any of the nypmhs. Last night, Chartreuse, who never seems to eat the crickets I attempt to feed him, decided he was going to go after them after all. Not just snag one as it passed. Oh no. Instead, he would see it climbing on the lid and would, from the opposite side of the cup, take a flying leap upside down, snag it from the top, land on the underside of a stick several centimetres below him and begin chowing down. heck of a way to start.

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