She Was *Into* Plants!

chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)November 19, 2010

We didn't know it at the time we brought the orchids into the house near the end of September. On October 4th, I saw her ~lounging~ on the couch and that is when we first officially met. There she was in all her prettiness ... a Praying Mantis! She was named Francis since we first met on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.

She must have come in on the orchids ... unnoticed. We gave her some crickets (sorry crickets!!!) and she was sooo very hungry! We could not put her back outside because by now the evening temperatures were in the 40sF or below ... plus it was raining. She would have died soon after being put out. We could NOT do that to her.

We put her in an aquarium with timothy hay and some branches ...

... and a shallow bowl of water. She's had a variety of live things to eat ... crickets, mealworms, the mealworm beetles and waxworms. She's been doing VERY well since we found her and last Friday she produced an egg mass ...

We do not think they will hatch since she has not been with a male Mantis since we found her. According to research, a Praying Mantis can live 6-8 month, according to the species. She is VERY nice and even responds to her name!!!

Francis will eagerly climb onto anyone's hand and arm ... perhaps seeking extra warmth or is she being curious? We are not sure. She is in our kitchen and very personable! She will live out her days safe, warm and well fed with us.

I must admit that we never kept an insect as a pet ... unless you count the lady bug a decade or so ago that over-wintered on the window sill. LOL!

As with all our guests ... We are honoured to have her share her life with us!

We now return you to your normality!

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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

Wow C3D:

You never cease to amaze me. She sure is a beauty. I miss the praying mantis I used to have at my old house, but I would prefer hummingbirds over praying mantis. I love my little hummers.

Did you see my post about finding more koi when I winterized my pond last Saturday. I even had one in my skippy filter. Wishing you and all of Campy Nappy a Happy Thanksgiving.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 9:19AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Jenny! :-)

I did not see your post but will look for it now! We moved your Grand-koi inside a few weeks ago. OMG! One is more gorgeous than the next! I can't believe how much they have grown. They are also VERY sweet!

The abdomen on Fransis is getting huge again! We're not sure if she will lay more eggs or ... is she eating too much and needs Richard Simmons to come in an she'll be doing customized mantis exersises! LOL! 8-)

A VERY Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too!

Camp Nappy Campers!!!

Uncle Nick reports all is well his his koi too!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 3:03PM
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Thanks for sharing Francis. I will be interested to hear how long she lives and if you end up with a million baby mantises.

Happy Thanksgiving,

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 6:29PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

How pretty she is. She looks like the one I discovered on a shipment of plants at Sam's Club a couple of years ago. I rescued her by buying the plant when the employees went ballistic when they saw her. I put her in among the vines growing up one of our trees and she found a hiding place right away. I never saw her again. I hope she survived, but there are a lot of squirrels around here.

She did look different in coloration than most I have seen in the mid-west. I should look her up sometime to see if she was not a native.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:30PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Francis is doing great! She laid her third egg mass last night. I feel REALLY horrible that her eggs won't be hatching. I e mailed the Cleveland Zoo with a strange request. Maybe they have a Mr. Mantis for Francis?

I know she'd probably kill him although she's very well fed. Otherwise I shall go on the search for a Mantis-Match dating web site! LOL!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 7:55AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Very sad to tell y'all that Francis died in the morning on January 4th. :*(

She had laid a total of three egg masses ... the first being in early NOvember. I understand that normally the female dies soon after laying her eggs and it's very unusual for them to lay multiple egg masses. I guess we did well for her then.

Not sure if her eggs will hatch and we'll hear the pitter patter of multiple feet but we'll keep her eggs for a long time just in case we get babies.

Francis was wrapped in a flower print paper towel along with an orchid spike that was in full flower and she was buried near the house.

Who wouldda thought we could get soooo attached to an insect?!?!? But we DID! I guess like all the critters who have touched our lives at Camp Nappy .... If you take the time to really know them ... they have so much to offer!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 9:32AM
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koijoyii(NE Ohio)


Sorry to hear about Francis. She had a good short life at Camp Nappy.

Wanted to let you know that I brought the mandivilla vine you gave me into my sun room during the fall solstice (per Angelo Petitti's direction) and it didn't lose a leaf. It is growing and blooming like crazy. The vine has grown up my rattan furniture. I have to find it a trellis. Can't wait for spring so I can plant it outside and see it really take off. Next month I will start feeding it, and probably transplant it to a bigger pot till it can go outside. The cats don't bother it. Will try to post a few pics if I remember. lol


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 7:43AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Jenny. Thanks! :-)

Just this morning I looked over at the kitchen counter where Francis had resided ... wanting to tell her "Good morning" ... and she wasn't there. I guess if you do that for several months there's an adjustment time. :-/

Glad that your vine is doing well! Mine is growing but stopped flowering last month. They do need a trellis. My vanilla orchid needs a trellis too but it attached itself to the wood on the kitchen window! 8-) OOPS! LOL!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:49AM
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