“Pre-flight Check” Sphodromantis gastrica (African mantis) L9 female is about to make her travels… but first, a photoshoot. She’s definitely a light morph. So beautiful.
#sphrodromatisgastrica #sphrodromantis #africanmantis #prayingmantis #mantodea #mantis #nature #wildlife #animals #insect #bugs #science #entomology #exotic #pets #aliens #photography #mantismonarch #cutnessoverload https://www.instagram.com/p/BxF_G1BnUXR/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=1q7ye1ylya77s
After humans, cats are the number 1 cause of species extinctions, worldwide. They are hunters and indiscriminately kill native species and damage their ability to reproduce. As the article states, cats are now the most common source of rabies transmission to humans–dogs used to be the most common source, but we no longer let dogs roam freely anymore.
I have six cats and I love them to pieces–every single one of them is 100% indoors only. Despite my commitment to keeping my cats indoors, I constantly have to deal with my neighbors cats wandering into my yard and killing the birds and cotton mice that enjoy the habitat I have worked my butt off to provide for them. Every single day for the past several weeks, I have had to run into my yard and chase off three separate cats, one of whom has possibly destroyed the Lincoln’s Sparrow nest I was overjoyed to have in my yard.
Last year, when I had to deal with cats stalking the birds, the only solution that worked was cutting all of the grass down to ground so they had no place to hide, but this also destroys nesting habitat for birds like the Lincoln’s Sparrows, and I already have a pair trying to nest in my yard this year. I shouldn’t have to remove nesting habitat so I can scare cats out of my yard more easily!
Cats are domesticated animals with no native habitat anywhere in the world–everywhere they exist, they were introduced by humans, and they disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem. That doesn’t mean your cats need to be bored, though! I have lots of bird feeders up, many of which are stationed close to their favorite places to perch by the windows. They spend all day chasing birds, safely separated by glass (and sometimes the birds harass them on purpose!) And another one of my cats is so large I have to take him to the vet on a leash, which means after his vet visits, he gets rewarded with after-vet “sniffs through the garden,” because that’s really all he wants to do.
Above: Satin waits for birds at the feeder and Oliver sniffs around the front yard
Keeping your cats inside is better and safer for them, too! Cats have a much harder time getting fleas (and subsequently, tapeworms, which are carried by fleas) when they are indoor cats, and when they are indoors, they do not have to worry about getting hit by cars, attacked by other cats or wild animals (possibly with diseases), hunted by predators, caught in traps, ingesting poisoned mice (which can kill them!), getting caught in extreme weather, and all sorts of other hazards and dangers.
The actual difference in lifespan is hard to determine, but they are greatly different for indoor and outdoor cats. Here’s one example figure:
Cats who are kept indoors can reach the ripe old age of 17 or more years, whereas outdoor cats live an average of just two to five years.
Source: pets.webmd.com [link] (yeah I know, not the best but I’m tired and this is just an example)
Other figures I’ve seen are outdoor cats average around 5 years, and indoor cats average around 15 years (but these are very rough estimates). If you’ve had an outdoor cat, and it “ran away” one day, I’ll bet you your cat did not actually run away.
There is a way to keep native habitats, vulnerable species, and cats safe! And that’s by keeping cats indoors!
Ey fam I’m wondering if you could help me convince my family to let me have a pet mantis??
Hi there! I don’t know what (if any) reasons your family currently has against a pet mantis, so I can’t directly address any of those concerns, BUT, let me tell you a quick little story about my childhood and what it looked like (and my pet mantis, because YES I did have one!)
Do you know how kids will get pets on a whim, as a gift, and they get bored, and the parents get tired of it, and they have to do something with it, but you can’t just … take guinea pigs and parrots to the shelter? But there’s like, this weird family in the area who just, has all these animals already? So let’s just… give our unwanted pets to them??? That was my house. I mean, if it wasn’t for my mom’s phobia of reptiles, we would have had a 6 ft iguana in the bathtub.
And it wasn’t just people “donating” gently used pets, either. My dad and I brought a bunch of tadpoles home and put them in the kiddie pool in the backyard, eagerly awaiting their transformation into frogs, until… uh… yeah, those are… fish … So we had to bring them back to the river several weeks (months?) later to release them.
The whole thing I do with raising caterpillars? I didn’t start that recently. I was doing that stuff when I was 6. The only difference now is instead of writing my notes in my “diary” and supplementing with crappy Polaroid photos, I do it on a blog and I get to add photos that are IN FOCUS?! It’s awesome.
My dad was super excited about how into science and bugs I was, so when he found a praying mantis in a gas station parking lot in eastern Washington, he HAD to bring her home to us. I think I was in middle school (so this would have been around 1996 or so). We named her Fuzzball. I took photos of her (Guess: Polaroids!). We fed her crickets. We watched her hunt them. It was so awesome on man. I’d read about mantids, and I’d seen photos of them, but I had never seen them in real life, and even though I spent so much time digging around my back yard, I never seemed to find anything particularly noteworthy (my mom probably poisoned all her plants).
At one point, Fuzzball made an ootheca. WHAT?! I had no idea they did that, so we looked it on this brand new thing called the internet. One website recommended putting them in the fridge to simulate the natural environment, so we took the ootheca away from her, even though we weren’t sure if it was fertilized (we didn’t know how far out they needed to mate… In retrospect, I’m pretty sure it was sterile). She got … depressed? She made a second, weird shaped ootheca and guarded it. She stopped eating. The crickets started coming after her. They ate one of her front arms, before they started eating her ootheca. We took the crickets out of the enclosure at this point, and Fuzzball died soon after.
I was already interested in animals, science, bugs, the environment and how everything fits into it, but this experience of being able to observe the natural behaviors of this animal which had been totally exotic to me up until that point was phenomenal. Insects are so different from the animals that we are more familiar with, and it’s absolutely fascinating to have such an intimate glimpse into their lives by having the opportunity to keep one. Also… they don’t live very long, so it’s not a huge commitment, and when you’re done, you can pin your mantid and have a nice piece of art!