Our Summer Visitor
(page five)

But nowhere near as surprised as we were to see her thorax getting bigger again.




And on November 2, 2010 (exactly one month after the third one) she produced a fourth egg case!



November 14, 2010

After three and a half months with us she was definitely slowing down and having a harder time getting around. She still had a good appetite though so we keep her well supplied with crickets.


At night we bring her into the garage and only put her out during the day if it's warm enough.

November 19, 2010

These two pictures clearly show she is starting to feel her age. Above it was rainy so we only left her out on the screen for a few minutes because she was visibly cold and quite weak. She perked up under the warm fluorescent lights in the garage but the photo below (taken on November 16, 2010) shows she is now unable to stand upright. She is most comfortable in a hanging position because her legs are too weak to hold her body up. She's still eating crickets when they make it up to the top of her cage, but doesn't seem inclined to travel down to the bottom to hunt. We will keep her fed and comfortable for as long as possible.

On November 23, 2010 she passed away peacefully during the night while in her favorite spot. :'(
But she will hopefully leave a lot of herself behind. Four egg cases at a possible 400 eggs per case -- we're talking lots of babies! We have since moved all the egg cases into the freshly spruced up enclosure to be stored in the coolest part of the garage until next spring when we'll move it outside on the patio. Then hopefully we will see a wonderful hatching of teeny Mantises!

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