and then a praying mantis adopted us

Two nights ago, after dinner, Jonah was playing with clay at his art table.

Suddenly, a frail, white, praying mantis climbed up from the underside and perched near the edge, it’s so-very-recently and much-smaller molted former-self dangling empty, just beneath.

A PRAYING MANTIS. Appeared. In our house.

So, of course we decided to adopt it. Or we decided that it had adopted us so we might as well make it a nice home.

We used the bug catching environment that I’d scored from Freecycle a few years ago. Basically a plastic terrarium with airholes, some faux landscaping to which we added real branches and flowers from the yard, and the best part: a special door and tunnel for slipping in more insects.

Because Praying Mantises are meat-eaters, so to speak.

The toyset included a special bug-catching vacuum, with a capsule that you take off, when full, attach to the special door, and release a trap-door within the capsule to escort your insect into its new home, or, rather, well…

We have been catching moths and flies thusly. And our mantis, (named “Mantis), has been thoroughly appreciative.

Nom nom nom nom.

How big will it get? How long will it live? How many flies exactly does it require? We don’t know yet. But so far, it’s a delightful companion. I’ve never seen a live praying mantis in my life. Do they normally hang out in Oakland? How long has it lived IN MY HOUSE? Some cultures believe a visitation by a mantis to be lucky.

We love how it tilts its little triangle head to watch us. As we watch it.

Male or female? We still haven’t counted the segments on its abdomen. Either way, Jonah proclaims, the name is Mantis. So we’re good.

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