My other two mantises finally arrived, another Indian Flower Mantis and my long desired Orchid Mantis. Both are now two molts into their life cycle and doing very well. I'm considering after this batch of mantises obtaining ootheca for orchid and ghost mantises and just raising those two species for awhile. I would be interested in breed and maintaining colonies of both.
The orchid mantis is exceedingly easy to photograph. Not really skiddish at all and will acknowledge and look at the camera without becoming defensive. It did become startled once while shooting which caused it to flatten itself as much as possible, laying it's thorax on ground with its arms splayed out and its abdomen folded up over its thorax. Then it stared most intently at me. It was shockingly adorable. Unfortunately about halfway through the shoot it started to defecate, which I didn't notice till later. You can see it in one of the pictures of him here.
Malaysian Orchid Mantis
I also finally got a few good pictures of my Cryptic Mantis. For whatever is chose to hold still for 1-2 minute periods of time this go around. Got a few good face shots and some excellent full body shots. I had to redo his enclosure, he keeps picking the worst spots to shed and it makes it very dangerous for him. The orchid mantis had similar poor choices for shedding locations but also came out just fine. One of my classmates has requested the skins. I have no idea what she's doing with them but she had a delightful sideways mode of asking if she can have them. She also wants the corpses when they finally die. I would find this strange but art school in San Francisco, nothing is really all that odd here.
Now that I have two Indian Flower mantises I'm going to set up the colors in their enclosures differently and see how far they'll shift color wise. The first one has already shifted quite strongly towards green.
I've also got quite bit more work done on photoshoping mantises into paintings, but the corresponding portrait work is not ready yet. I printed a few of them and the heads separated themselves quite strongly in comparison to on the screen. That's always the problem is how they look when printed. The unrefined paintings are particularly hard because I have try to roughen up the photo in a fashion similar to the target painting. I'll make a post of them when more are ready.
Malaysian Orchid Mantis
Indian Flower Mantis