A New Lady Brownie!


I have now had the pleasure of having a pet female praying mantis for about three weeks now!

I have been praying to find an adult female praying mantis for years now, and on a recent cold and rainy day I found one at a Krystal Drive Thru on the curb outside of the building when I want to pay for and pick up my order. I rarely go there because of the salt in their sandwiches, but I did it on a spur of the moment action and there she was! She was so hunkered down to the curb that for a moment I thought she might be dead.

I stopped instantly, jumped out and picked her up, and she ruffled her wings at me and tried to pinch me- a good sign-which showed she was still feisty!

I drove up to the window to pay them, and the women there jerked back from my hand and shrieked “Oh my God, is it a moth?” I told them what she was, and they took my money hurriedly, as I told them how we used to bring in mantises every year before the first and put one on each set of curtains around the house. I took care of them and fed and watered each one daily, and they learned to drink water from spoons… and I have my late father, Philip Bergh’s,  slides to prove this. And, often they would last well into December before they finally died of old age.

Meanwhile, as she sat calmly on my left hand, and was warming up, the ladies asked me if I’d name her, and I told them , “Yes, Lady Brownie”, for that was what we named all of our lovely brown praying mantises with the green stripe down their lateral wings. Well, I got my food, and just sat there eating it with a very happy heart and a big smile on my face!

I called my friend Jan and asked her to get me a gerbil cage for Lady Brownie, and she said that she hadn’t heard me this happy in a long time! Then, I called her back a few minutes later and asked her to also get me some mealworms, as I had to feed he, and this was met with gales of laughter and, “Where will I find them?” I told her WalMart’s pet section or a pet store, and several hours later, there she was with a small mammal cage and a container of mealworms. She greeted me by asking me if I appreciated all of the trouble she went to because of my love of insects? I replies, that I had been thinking just of this and how all of my friends at some point had assisted me some way when I was raising caterpillars or other insects just for the fun of it! She then and cut off a branch for her cage, and held her while I fitted the branch to the cage, and she agreed that mantises were really cool and fascinating insects!

And now, every day I water her either with drops on my fingertip or from a spoon, and give her a mealworm or more/day and sometimes some yogurt too. She has now laid two egg cases in her cage, and her abdomen is still huge, so she will probably lay at least one more egg case soon. Right now she is resting under my lamp on my sleeve, and is watching me as I type, and I feel so very lucky, to once again, after nearly 45 years, to have a pet praying mantis again!

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