Friday, March 11, 2011

Can you say Ootheca?


Yes, it's a mouthful and it is actually the proper name for the egg-cases of many insects including (ugh) cockroaches and of course, one of my favourites, the praying mantis! The praying mantis is a very strange animal in that, despite its viscious countenance and behaviour (the female mantis is notoriously infamous for biting the head off her husband while he is still mating with her) it is, for the better part a very capable and efficient insect mother.
Rawwwr!!!! OMNOM
This is Ninja!!! If you recall, Ninja is my pet praying mantis that went with me on a wild excursion on an aeroplane to Penang Island (truly Ninja must be the first praying mantis ever to ride an aeroplane!). Well it seems that I was too quick in assuming Ninja's sex for in fact, the praying mantis I've always assumed to be a "he" turned out to be a "she", and what a surprise it turned out to be too because Ninja left me with a beautiful ootheca!
Mantis oothecas are actually secreted from the abdommen on the female mantis as she lays her eggs as a foamy substance the appearance and consistency of soap suds. They do harden though, eventually to form a honey-comb like strucutre that not only keeps the mantis eggs dry and intact, but also protected from ants and other predators which might try to eat them! Moving on though, I'm quite psyched up about starting this volunteer work thing. I'm not really at liberty to divulge much information but all I can say is this, that it involves teaching arts and drama to very little children and I do hope that, in doing so I can show these children that they are all special, unique and that they matter. So to speak let them feel like the spotlight is shining on them for a change and hopefully, that self-esteem and confidence will translate to their activities later on in life and with their future endeavours :-)

Seems a little bit much for a drama teacher but.... wish me luck!!!

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