Day 4- April 09th, 2017
Hooray! The crickets we ordered had finally arrived!! Not Hooray! The crickets we ordered had almost all died during transport (thanks to lovely Ohio weather)!! Sadly, out of the 250 we ordered, maybe 100 were still alive. But still, we were excited to let our little children have their first feast. Since these were pinhead crickets (smallest size possible), we really struggled on how to feed our mantids in a way that the crickets would not get lost in the moss of the tank. So we decided to create a “feeding arena” in which we house lots of mantids in a small container and throw in a bunch of crickets to see what happens.
First, we put 5 mantids and 5 crickets in the arena. This worked well and each of the mantids got to eat a cricket. Then we got a little too excited and put approximately 50 mantids from the jars into the container and shook a bunch of crickets into the arena. This proved to be a gigantic mess. The mantids were too concerned with the close proximity of their siblings that they didn’t even notice the crickets, at first. It took several minutes before they calmed down enough for one to get a cricket. Eventually we decided this wasn’t a very good idea and repackaged the mantids into their jars.
To our surprise, the mantids were actually very skilled at locating the tiny crickets in their enclosures even with the moss. So we decided to abandon our feeding arena and shook some crickets directly into the tank and jars every few days instead.