Monday, June 3, 2013

Female Praying Mantises and Truth

Praying Mantis
by Amy LV

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - I have no idea why I wrote the phrase - Praying mantis prays for life - in my notebook the other evening.  But I did.  And then the other lines followed.  In the morning, however, I knew that I needed to do some research.  I wondered, "Is it really true what I've heard?  Do the female mantises REALLY eat the males after mating?"  So I did a bit of reading, and I found out that while this does happen, it is not as frequent as I had imagined.

When a female mantis is hungry, she may eat the male after mating, but usually she does not. This is more likely to happen in captivity, and it is more likely when the female is hungry.  When a praying mantis female does eat a male after mating, he unwittingly sacrifices his life for her health and the health of her eggs.

The title of this poem serves as a warning.  Just as we should not grocery shop when we are hungry (we will buy too much), a male praying mantis should not woo a female praying mantis who is hungry (she may devour him).

Research is important in all genres of writing.  It would be terrible if my poem made all female praying mantises out to be killers.  They are not!  Truth matters, and writers must be responsible to the truth.

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  1. A good lesson. I did think it happened all the time, Amy. It's also a good example of writing after research!

  2. Enjoyed your fun poem and the information about praying mantis --didn't know that. Good point to research and know your facts.

  3. I too enjoyed the poem. I like that you included your research here for students. I also thought it always happened. Funny what we know and don't know, isn't it?

  4. Great poem, Amy! That always fascinates me too. Weird creatures!

  5. Love the ending! Praying Mantises are pretty much my favorite bugs. (except for Dragonflies...and Ants...and Lady Bugs...and...uh...I feel a poem coming on!)