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I fancy myself an illustrator with a terminal affinity for the poetry of W.B Yeats. I currently reside in Phuket, Thailand.
ooh! It could be a matter of species temperament, really! The Hierodula sp. are generally a very placid, calm and fearless sort, and so they are not very darty, and are very gracious models to photograph!
It sounds to me that you have a veritable little grasshopper on your hands (or off your hands, as it would be).
Alternatively: If her behavior upon being released from her enclosure is one of fear/threat, rather than being simply energetic, (threat displays, actively avoiding/hiding/running from your hand, etc) it could be that she’s simply not use to hands, especially if she was not handled as a nymph. I’m not sure of the science behind whether or not a mantis can learn not to fear/be weary of something if it’s exposed to it from an early stage…but some long-time mantis keepers swear they do. Perhaps hand feeding her honey off the end of a toothpick might encourage her to be more at ease with being handled.
You might not be able to calm her down, but if you’d like to document her without losing her, I suggest attempting to do so in the smallest, emptiest room you have (perhaps transport her entire terrarium/enclosure into the room, and ensure all avenues of escaping said room are adequately closed off before letting her out)! The good news is, the P. Griffinii is a medium to large sized species, and so her conspicuous size might prevent her from being lost too easily if you’re monitoring her closely :D Hopefully, she’ll allow you to capture some nice shots of her during a moment of rest between leaping about!
aaahh these are such super kind words ; A; <33 thank you so much!!
I hope you have a wonderful day, as well!!
Because they are like miniature fantasy creatures! What’s not to love?? * U*
I have an ID on Penh’s species!!
A bunch of people were suggesting that she was an h. patellifera, and it was a close guess, but the markings weren’t quite hitting it right. The patellifera is certainly in the right size-range, but lack the pink/brown banding on the legs, and the white markings on the wings lacked the dark outline Penh has.
Here’s an h. patellifera:
Here’s another photo of Penh:
And here’s a photo of another mantis, an h. parviceps!
The lighting in this guy’s photo is pretty bad, but all the markings are clearly seen: Proper wing markings, check! Leg banding, check! Correct size, check check check!
Horaaayyy! Unless anyone has an argument against this ID, I’m gonna rest on saying she’s definitely a hierodula parviceps (also known as a ‘Marbled Mantis’ or ‘Giant Philippine mantis’)!! Their wing colors range from green, to brown, to a pearly blue. I scored jackpot with Penh, since she’s of the pearly blue variety (my cellphone photos do her pale sea-foam colored iridescent wings no justice)!
I’m so happy to finally know what Penh is!! phew!!
Today, I returned to the mangrove in the ocean where I had found Penh two months ago.
The intent was to find her a boyfriend, since the last time I was there, the tree was brimming with mantids from a few different hatches. There were a good hundred or so on that tree!
Returning to it, I wasn’t expecting to find even half that amount, but what I had found was quite underwhelming. What I had found today was absolutely nothing.
I didn’t see any mantids, and so I started looking for shed skins. I didn’t find any shed skins, and so I started looking for an ootheca. I didn’t find an ootheca, so I went home.
I wonder what happened to all of them. There were so many, and now there’s no sign that they were ever there at all. The rains this past month have been pretty heavy… It’s likely that the mantids who weren’t eaten by their siblings got washed into the ocean by the rains. It’s unlikely that they would have reached adulthood already. That’s dependent on food intake, and no mantid in the wild could have possibly eaten as well as Penh has.
I had suspected that I might not find anything, but now that I have seen the small mangrove tree completely devoid of any mantids, I can’t help but wonder what happened to all of them, and if any survived at all.
Ah well. If I’m going to find Penh a lovely boy toy, it looks like I’m gonna have to do it the old fashioned way and actually go out to look for ‘im.