Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spiny Leaf Insect Eating Molted Skin

'Twas two nights before Christmas, and rather than posting wishes for Peace on Earth and the Joy of the Season, she was posting videos of her spiny leaf insect eating her molted skin....

I was fascinated to find my spiny leaf bug this morning, hanging precariously from her molted skin.  I had missed the actual molt, but soon realized that she was eating her skin (no wonder I never find any in the cage, as I do with the stick bugs).  The whole process of chewing it, as she hung from it, took probably an hour.  I took two video clips, which I would like to share.  I promise to be more seasonal in upcoming posts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spiny Leaf Insects Eggs !!

I had a nice surprise tonight.  My oldest spiny leaf insect, who was born in April (see post), so is just shy of 8 months old, started laying eggs tonight!  My son helped me spot 5 eggs, which I have removed to another container on a layer of moist paper towels, to await the long 9 months until they will hatch.  Here they are in my hand (aren't they pretty?) :

By the time we looked back at the mom, she had an egg showing at the end of her tail (sorry for the blurry photo) :
My son and I waited until it dropped.  Pretty exciting.  I read that she could lay as many as 100 eggs.

This is pretty good timing, since it is a bittersweet time for me and my girls.  A long time ago, I posted an ad that I would be willing to sell up to 2 of my 5 girls, and recently I've been contacted by a lady who is so excited to buy them that she will have a friend bring them by airplane for her.  He is supposed to come this weekend to pick them up, and I've had such mixed feelings about parting with any of my girls, but I know they will be going to a good home where they will be appreciated.  Now I am also glad that I will have eggs to provide hope of a new generation once my dear bugs are gone.  If I have any sense, I won't keep all the eggs, and certainly not all the offspring! 

Here are some recent photos of all my girls.  This is #1, my big 8 month old girl (now a mom!) with the regenerating front leg.  She has a wonderful weight to her, when she is held, and little spines on her belly can be felt against my skin :

This is #2, she is a bit more green than my first one :
 This is # 3 :
This is # 4 :
This is # 5, who is 3 1/2 months old now :
I am thinking to keep #1, 2 & 5, and part with #3 & #4.
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