An interview with our breakfast guest.
Q. What kind of animal are you ?
A. I am a Praying Mantis!
Q. Why are you called a PRAYING mantis?
A. Because I hold my front legs up in front of my body which makes me look as if I am praying !
Q. Are you an insect?
A. Yes I am. I have six legs and wings and my body has three parts. A head. A thorax and an abdomen.
Q. Why did you fly into Jumble House this morning ?
A. Well, I was looking for something to eat in that tree across the road but it suddenly got very windy and I came here for shelter.
Q. What do you eat ?
A. I eat insects . Flies and beetles and that kind of thing.
Q. How do you catch them?
A. Well, I lie in wait and keep very still and quiet. When I see something that looks good to eat I leap out and grab it with my front legs. They are covered in spines so my dinner can’t escape! Then I bite it neck to paralyse it before tucking in!
Q.How old are you?
A. Let me see. I hatched out of my egg in the Spring. I think it was March. Now it’s the end of August so I must be about five months old. That’s pretty old for a Mantis. We only live for a year. Soon I will lay eggs and then my life cycle will be complete. Next spring all my little children will hatch out of the eggs as nymphs. They will look just like me but smaller and they won’t have any wings. But they will eat and eat and get bigger and bigger and have to shed their skin lots of times before they become an adult.
Q.Where do you live?
A. Anywhere I can find yummy dinners and that usually means in fields and in old buildings and in trees. But I don’t like the cold so you will only find me in warm climates.
Q. I like the way you turn your head. It’s cute!
A. Thank you! I am the only insect that can turn its head 180 degrees. Kind of cool isn’t it! It makes it much easier to look for my dinner.
Q Why are you that very bright green colour ?
A. That’s because I usually live in green places like fields and trees. Because I’m the same colour as my surroundings it’s easy to hide from my prey. It’s called camouflage.
Q. But you are not very camouflaged here in Jumble House. I can see you very easily!
A. Yes. I know. Now the storm is over I will be going soon. But I know you are very kind and won’t hurt me.
Q. No. We won’t hurt you . Thank you for coming to see us. Can you fly?
A. Yes I can fly very well.
Good bye and thank you for sheltering me.