Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gorbag on the Rampage

Gorbag is now 3 inches long and is not as much of a spaz as Shagrat, but is having fun. It's very interesting to see the finer detail of the manti as they get larger.

Gorbag's behavior hasn't changed necessarily too much, but he just looks a little bit more like an alien. If you click to see the larger version of the picture you may be able to see the little black "dots" in the eyes -- the pupils?

(click picture to see a larger version)

For those of you who might remember old school Star Wars figures, this picture is for scale. Gorbag likes going on walks in the park with the Tusken Raider.

(click picture to see a larger version)

Here is the crafty brute eyeing a cricket down below. The apple is for moisture (as is the ear thing doodlie - cotton swab?)

(click picture to see a larger version)

Gorbag seems to be curious - cautious - it's hard to tell what they are "looking" at - how far their vision goes - the range seems to go further as they get bigger - but I think their vision is probably ideal for small squiggly things at close range. And sometimes they just sit still and don't move, if something large comes by them - but if a little tiny bug wriggles by, they'll track it, swiveling their head to a new position.

(click picture to see a larger version)

The "stance" varies - sometimes when observing, the front arms are tucked in -- once in awhile they stretch them out straight - but relatively powerful - with sort of fine toothed "combs" on the inner edges, to hold onto prey.

(click picture to see a larger version)

They balance themselves with the two pairs of back long legs -- at the very tips, are very tiny "grippers" - they must be small hairs, or something like that - so they'll inch forward, and hold on to whatever they were last touching with their hind legs, and then bring them forward.

(click picture to see a larger version)

They also seem to have distinct markings on the inner part of their forelegs.

And Gorbag seems to behave a little differently than Shagrat, or Ugluk - Shagrat will move very very fast, and is quite aggressive - Gorbag is pretty chill (but can also move fast).

(click picture to see a larger version)

The abdomen seems to be about the same size relative to the head, getting larger. And typically the two small antennae will slowly quiver a bit, and sometimes move in the direction of touching/testing things.

(click picture to see a larger version)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ugluk, Gorbag and Shagrat

Sorry it's been so long; a lot has happened in the past month. The second generation of mantises grew up; some passed on into the otherworld, I let others go, some survived.

Grishnak, the valiant warrior of the first generation, fell prey to something, a microbe perhaps.

But Ugluk, Gorbag and Shagrat are coming along, and I'm working on finding a way to make video - difficult they being so small. But evidently a macro lens is the way to go.

And it turns out the 2nd generation is about at the stage the first generation was at in the last blog entry.

Here is Ugluk, just after having shed his exoskeleton (you can click on the picture to see a larger version).

They come out lighter in color. Some of the mantises actually kicked the bucket when shedding their first exoskeleton -- I remember a few weeks ago being in the ridiculous position of thinking I could somehow try to help one of the mantises -- with no magnifying glass I was attempting, as gently as possible, to help free it.

At any rate, the hardy orc mantises have made it to a larger stage.