Archive | 12:00 pm

The effect of children on mantises

21 Jan
Close up on the head, eyes, and mandibles of a Carolina mantis.

Close up of a Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina).

Another close up.  This is a Carolina mantis I’ve been raising for a while.  Recently I took her along to an outreach program where we had a live insect zoo, and the kids got a huge kick out of seeing and holding a preying mantis.

Unfortunately, the mantis apparently found a pack of excited 6th grade girls a bit unnerving, and I had to put her back in her container when she started flashing her yellow hindwings in a threat display.  I have never actually managed to get a mantis to do a display for me, so it was actually pretty interesting.  Moreover, weeks later I still couldn’t come near her container without being the recipient of an immediate threat display.  (Small children are apparently just that unsettling.)

I had meant to take a picture for the blog, but Christmas break has apparently soothed her nerves sufficiently that she can be handled again without instant mantis-freak-out.