Our Summer Visitor 

On August 4, 2010 this cute & tiny praying mantis began hanging around our backyard and patio. She was barely an inch and a half long and soft pink.


After a couple of weeks passed we were amazed by the fact that she had decided to stick around. Her color gradually changed to a beautiful orange tan.


Eventually she moved up onto the patio door screen where she seemed inclined to stay. By then she was just over two and a half inches long.


Food was plentiful but we had fun catching grasshoppers and setting them out for her. It was interesting to watch how incredibly fast she moved when she would catch her 'prey'.



She ate . . .


. . . and grew . . .


. . . and ate and grew even more.

By the time we took the picture below she had been living on our screen for about 5 weeks and was now about 4 inches long.


Pretty soon we began to worry we were feeding her too much because her thorax was getting really huge. She was eating 4 or 5 grasshoppers a day and we thought that could be too much, but everything we read said mantises could easily eat 10 crickets per day. At that point we started wondering if she could be pregnant.  We did more research to find out how one would sex a mantis, and by counting thorax sections (males have 8 - females have 6) we knew she was definitely a female. We also learned that females store up the eggs and when the time was right, she would send out pheromones that would attract a mate to fertilize them.


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