So I wake up this morning to a crime scene in my bedroom. My eyelids flutter open, I swivel my head, yawn a few times, and I’m greeted by an unholy spectacle— limbs strewn across the floor, legs torn from a body and stacked almost-neatly in a psychopathic pile, the remains of a half-eaten raptorial limb flung against the wall, wings ripped ferociously from an insect body…
Darwin ate Borus. In one of nature’s most unsettling and famous displays of savagery, Darwin the female Ghost mantis killed and consumed most of Uroborus the male Ghost mantis.
Hanging guiltily from a twig directly above the carcass, Darwin gave me a shit-eating grin. “Darwin, you ate your husband! You bad, bad mantis!” In my customary anthropomorphic style, I spent the next half-hour cleaning and admonishing her. “You know, if you were a human, you’d be locked up! People would hear about you in the news: Pregnant suburban housewife kills and consumes husband during coitus.” Hide your kids, hide your (husband). What is the world coming to.
To be frank, I don’t even know if Darwin and Borus mated. For all I know, Borus tried to make a move, and instead of politely rejecting him, Darwin decided she was hungry. I hope he was tenacious in his approach, because otherwise it does appear that he died in vain, without achieving fertilization (for which purpose he was bought!) However, Borus was a beautiful specimen, a excellent companion, and, in the end, a most satisfying snack.
Here is a photographic tribute to Borus, from birth to untimely death.