My Apex pet…
Hello and good day, I just wanted to first say that your site is by far the best for mantis pictures and stories. Bravo! I have two mantis, both female. One of them is a Carolina Mantid and the one in these pics is physically different with its left wing having a spot on it that looks more like a eye. It is a yellow circle with a black spot in the middle. Its only on one side and she doesn’t have a black spot on its chest like my other pet mantids have had. I would appreciate the help. Now with the crazy story, I caught my first mantid of the year early in the summer nearly four months ago, she travels every with us, chilling out in her special travel case. Her name is Superwoman for the unusually large black spot on her chest. She will eat 2 Grasshoppers everyday if I feed her that much but I usually just give her three every two days and she stays pleasantly fat and too heavy to even fly! Believe it or not she has only flown away once and she made it about a foot and just fell and never tried that again. I have had her since the first molt and she went from solid green to dark mottled brown like the sticks I put in her terrarium. But it’s my other mantis, KILLena, that takes the cake as the apex predator in the house. I had three in total, two females and one male, last night I decided to try and mate the newest edition KILLena and a grass type mantis. I put the two of them together and as soon as I did Killena froze into position and starting swaying back and forth as if it were a mating dance. The male mantis, Rosevelt (because I found him in my rosemary herb garden tracking a butterfly), started to move into position for copulation. As it made its way down a stick near KILLena she reached out faster than I had ever seen one ambush its prey, and snatched him up by the head and claws and commenced to eating the head!! I thought they did that that after they copulated but not KILLena!! She then chewed off the front claws and rendered him defenseless, munching on its upper half with one claw and has his mid-section in the other claw. Rosevelt amazingly was still moving! Not just moving but walking around, slightly clumsier but still walking up and down sticks like it knew what was going on. Eventually he made his way to KILLena’s body and jumped on the back and began reproducing!!!! just a fraction of his upper half was left and he was still completing his routine!! In the midst of that she noticed the fresh grasshopper I dropped inside earlier that day and snatched it up as well!! this is how she got the name KILLena, while munching on a grasshopper, after eating the head of her new found mate, she was making babies!! How great is that!! These pics should really explain a few things about mantids as pets and how they work and the order in which they eat their prey. I got quite a few camera angles and she even seemed to pose and smile for to take more, meanwhile not missing a single bite in between snaps of the shutter. Please enjoy these pics and feel free to share them with the world. Ill be updating you guys when she lays the sack and we hatch them. Till then Have a great day and remember, watch where you step, there is a whole ‘nother world beneath your feet!!!!
Proud Parent from Missouri

Dear Proud Parent,
Thank you for the graphic story.

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