How many clerks does it take to sell a praying mantis? (pic)
A friend of mine mentioned to me Saturday that he had seen a praying mantis for sale at a local pet shop. Iíve been meaning to get some mantids to photograph for some time, but they are very rarely offered for sale around Vancouver. So I dropped by the pet shop yesterday to take a look. Sure enough they had a nice big, green mantid for sale. Not surprisingly I didnít recognize the species. So I went up to the clerk to get some information about the animal and its care. To make a long story short, they had absolutely no idea what species it was or where it came from. The best they could do was say was that it was imported from the USA. Unbelievable! I posted the entire, somewhat bizarre conversation on my blog, along with a couple more photos.
I took the photos using a white box made from foam core, illuminated with a single flash.
I suspect that this little beast is a giant Asian mantis, Hierodula membranacea, but I still need to confirm the identification...
Oh, and the answer to my question is four. It took four clerks to sell me this mantid.
mantid copyright ernie cooper 2012_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr
Awesome shots. Yes that is indeed H. membranacea, looks to be a female.. They shouldnt be surprised if she starts laying ooths all over the place... lol. They can lay up to a dozen of them.. And your story sadly is pretty much the common place in petstores.. I worked for Petco way back when, for many years.. And the ignorance in petstores can be astounding. Made my head hurt and want to kill people each and every day while I worked there. Petco regional managers treated me like the holy grail and had everybody from the west coast district calling me when they had questions about ANYTHING. Just simply because I kept stuff, knew stuff, and knew what I was doing. ITS NOT THAT HARD TO EDUCATE YOURSELVES PEOPLE!! arrrggghhhh... Sorry rant over lol.
Edit: And now after reading your entire story on your blog, YOU shouldnt be suprised if she starts laying ooths(egg cases) everywhere. lol.. So if you wake up one day and see a giant foamy looking mass, you know what it is.. Also, this is a good site for mantis stuff and info http://mantisplace.com/mantiscare.html#GAM I used to get all my mantids and things from them..
Illegal* but it explains why the name wasn't "known" by the shop...
Very cool critter though, I enjoyed keeping mantids.
*FYI: the only non-native mantids allowed as terrarium subjects without a permit are: European, Carolina and Chinese and any of the natives found in your particular area. Mantids are simply not enforced as tightly the Phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and Giant African Snails where a shop can be shut down for selling them, since most people don't know one mantid from another. Second question on this page details it (mostly): http://membracid.wordpress.com/2007/...-a-pet-mostly/
Originally Posted by swords
I'm not sure where you are located, but in Canada that isn't exactly the case. European mantids (which it turns out is that this specimen is) can be imported into Canada without a permit mainly because the species has already been introduced to parts of the country. Most other species species require import permits. However, there are no federal laws restricting the possession of legally acquired specimens. In other words, it isn't against the law to keep mantids, but it is illegal to import most species without a permit.