|Rubber Bug Collecting: Mantodea & Orthoptera
Mantodea, the "praying" predators famous for their (slightly exaggerated) cannibal
bedroom antics, were once classified alongside the Orthoptera, the crickets and
grasshoppers. Now considered closer in relation to cockroaches, I'm going to lump mantids
and locusts on the same page regardless. Just try and stop me.
A very typical-looking, cheaply manufactured
mantis. Due to their thin, spindly forms, mantis
toys suffer from a lot of odd bending and noodly
This smaller mantis has a yellower paint job
than most, and rather lazily-painted black eyes.
Their eye color in nature will actually change
according to the level of light, fading from a
bright green by day to brown or black at night.
One of the nicer-looking cheapo mantids, I like
the fine detail on the wing covers. Another one
with red eyes, despite how unusual this would
be in nature.
A sturdier, more upright mantis. I like how the
spiny forelegs fade to red. Though they cannot
willingly change color to blend with their
surroundings, common mantids develop less
green and more brown in a drier climate.
My smallest mantis is oddly my most detailed.
Definitely a favorite, I wish I had more than two.
This one is made from exceptionally hard
plastic compared to most others. Again with the
red-eye, though. Maybe these are
This great-looking, stocky mantis originally had
an off-brand tootsie pop where the rest of its
body should go. This is one that gets the
forelegs wrong; they shouldn't end in spikes, but
in an entire clawed foot beyond the tip of the
This well-sculpted mantis unfortunately suffers
from a sloppy paintjob. The plastic underneath is
actually translucent. It originally came attached
to an electronic base that produced various
insect sounds, though mantids themselves are
The "Buzzin' Bugs" grasshopper. These very
big, detailed, electronic insect toys were once
sold at the dollar tree, for only a dollar! Can you
believe it?! This is the only Buzzin' Bug I didn't
ruin by leaving in the car too long.
The common variety of small, rubber
grasshopper, it's tough to find a dollar-store bag
of bugs without one of these or a similar mold.
...And if it doesn't have a cheap grasshopper,
your grab-bag of bugs will more than likely have
one of these generic field crickets.
This larger cricket is the most life-like I have,
except for its bright color scheme. It's related to
my similarly off-color cockroach.