Subject: Mantid eating a minnow
Location: Evergreen Park, IL
November 23, 2013 1:36 pm
I always bring some mantids in before a hard freeze and then put the oothecae outside to help ensure future generations(usually after mating, the first three ootheca will be fertile but none afterward). The females can get quite hungry after laying their ootheca and will gladly eat a minnow. I don’t think you’ll see that in the wild though 🙂
Thanks for sending us your photo of a Mantis eating a Minnow in captivity. Your comment about the unlikeliness of seeing this in the wild struck a chord with us. Just yesterday, while working in the yard, we thought about how man has affected the evolution of the creatures around us. Often when we think of evolution, people get wrapped up in the origin of new species, but appearance and behavior of existing species also constitutes a type of evolution. Since many insects, including many Mantids, only live a single season, it is possible to witness an evolutionary change during a single person’s life span. If you continued to feed minnows to Mantids, and then included a bowl of water containing live minnows in your habitat, the Mantids might eventually learn to fish for those minnows. Subsequent offspring might eventually carry the gene that includes the instinct to fish, and when those individuals are then released into the wild, they might eventually spawn a population of Fishing Mantids. We realize this is a very far fetched scenario, however, we do believe that nurture affects nature.