On March 08 2009 I came home to find this mantis in my kitchen . I noticed it had a bad left claw so I called it "Lefty" assuming it was male . I decided to help 'him' and offered a moth which was snatched out of my fingers and devoured .
This is one of the first pictures I took with my little Fuji F31fd compact of "Lefty" . Notice the lame left claw ....
A few days later [ I'll make reference to "her" from now on ] , she was taking moths from me regularly and already had a following on "Nikoncafe " http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=216387 .,
We were now officially 'buddies' .
She eventually found that moving onto the curtain next to my computer desk made it easier for me to feed her regularly .
Occasionally the bad claw got hooked up in the material which involved me having to use a pen to unhook it so she could continue eating whatever she had lunged at .
That's her spot , right there .... [18//03/2009]
Then I discovered that crickets were a good food source that kept her happy for two days at a time once she had eaten one .
Hmmm , this one may have been full of eggs or something ?
30/03/2009 - I still think the mozzies are her favourite .
5/04/2009 I come home from work and do a quick search for her then I look up and 'yoo-hoo' ..
I found a large mozzie for her and she was battling to eat it - then I noticed her laft claw hooked up in the curtain again and had to release it for her . She was getting rather large by now .
At this point someone had done some research and found at that she was in fact a "Springbok mantis" , originally from South Africa but now living in New Zealand [ like me ] .
7/04/2009 , at this stage "Romeo" appeared on the outside of the window and I decided to let him in and 'introduce ' them .
After they were introduced they spent about 6 hours 'together' . For a few days after that she lost her appetite
09/04/2009 I was going on holiday and wasn't sure what to expect when I got back - she had been in the same spot for days .....
12/04/2009 , I got back from my holiday and she was gone .....
15/04/2009 , everyone was asking me to look for her so I told them to tell me where to look on my house . The red circle is where she used to sit on the curtain .
16/04/2009 , this was my entry on the official thread on Nikoncafe " Oh No , here we go again ! as I switched off my laptop to go and get some sleep I saw another "Springbok mantis" sitting on my computer desk . She's now halfway through the third mozzie I gave her and is much slimmer than "Leftina" - still got lots more weight to put on . Maybe I should 'cage her' so we can get to see some babies ? Anyway that all depends on whether she is there in the morning or not ..... if she is I'll worry about another name "
Quote from 07/04/2009 " 12:30pm , I went home to check up on the "new"[?] springbok mantis and handed her a mozzie ...... then I noticed something strange , she couldn't use her left claw properly ?!Is this perhaps "Leftina" after molting and laying eggs ????? She's got a very clean and shiny 'coat"
20/04/2009 - things were getting cold so she found a transformer to warm herslf up on .
22/04/2009 she gives another cricket an 'open mind '
I set up an enclosure for her so I could see a batch of eggs .
2/05/2009 - a quick family portrait ... she was on the move again so I let her out of her enclosure - Romeo had been with her for a few days and once she is ready to lay eggs she gets restless - I didn't want to stress her out be keeping her locked in .
04/05/2009 - Ta Daaah ! A batch of eggs on the curtain .
27/05/2009 - we all feared it was her time - she stopped eating and wanted to wander off ...
She was very weak and just fell out the window - so I picked her up and took her back inside - I didn't want to leave her to die outside .....
The next day to my relief it was just all about another batch of eggs ! She wasn't dying .....
1/06/2009 Not many insects around , I found her drinking condensation off the window sill .
By now things were cold and insects scarce - I ended up giving her a slimy earthworm which wrapped itself around her claw . Eventually I cut a piece off for her and she ate it .
3/06/2009 , I eventually fed her some ' roast pork with barbeque sauce ' .
All this tough meat made her thirsty so I gave her some tea to drink
06/06/2009 - she also eats ' roast lamb with mint sauce '
09/06/2009 - insects are still scarce so I offered her a piece of raw lamb which she devoured ...
This is her 'room' , she loves hanging upside down in that AM aerial .
Since the weather warmed up for a while I managed to get her a mozzie - her favourite ....
I resorted to storing moths in a bottle in the fridge when the weather was warmer and I could coax them into the house with the light on and a window open - she got stuck into a small moth 14/06/2009
20/06/2009 , After eating an old moth from the fridge she was covered in 'fluff'
This is a summary up till 20/06/2009 , please read the rest of the story on the links to the right of this page .....