Home Price List Mantis Care

Arthropod Ambassadors

USArk Silver Membership Badge

Welcome to the Website!

Hello and Welcome! Arthropods are all around us, filling vital roles in the world that enhance biodiversity and the wonder of our lives. This is a chance to take a closer look at these amazing creatures with many examples to please every audience. Most of my hobby approach is through an environmental science education’s view, so I really enjoy looking at the biological intricacies each species presents and how those details can inform us (humanity) moving forward.

I grew up on a ranch in northern Idaho and was the kid in grade school looking for bugs during recess. This came with a tendency to instigate people meeting animals with respect, not shoving spiders or snakes in faces to get screams like some kids (and adults) can tend to do. My dad encouraged searching for snakes and turtles, and every container had holes in lid for critters. I often caught mantises as a kid for mom’s garden. My interest in bugs was fundamental to my life experiences from early on.

I Graduated from UO (Go Ducks) with a degree in Environmental Life Sciences and minors in Ethics and Food Studies, which informs my approach to the hobby heavily. Being interested in husbandry topics helped make schooling fun and applicable. I found myself familiar with certain chemistry through keeping fish tanks, which informs concerns for ocean acidification and other buzzwords culturally thrown around. I used mealworms for my quail and chickens, and that transformed my interest in farming and food security into a focus on the bug hobby. With this history, protein conversion techniques as well as insects as food or to enhance gardening are very interesting subjects to me.

Food production, climate change, water restrictions, and habitat loss concerns pushed me towards wanting to support a public interest in arthropods to increase environmental engagement. Mantises are a very good type of animal to spark people’s interests, as are isopods. But even conventionally disgusting species such as roaches and spiders can bring extreme feelings that are attractive to certain people, which I like to label as ‘Fascination through Fear’. Experiences contrary to my assumptions happen all the time with caring for inverts. I’ve witnessed cockroaches go back to a favorite hill, assassins injecting a certain spot on their prey, and even amblypygi wait for prey to molt. I want other to have the opportunity for personal growth away from assumptions & fear about inverts and into curiosity and interest for their diversity and majesty.
Every species has many stories and lessons for us. For example, mealworms can digest styrofoam, which we have known without investigating for 30+ years. Deathshead roaches demonstrate psychological elements of being human by being an example of pareidolia, and assassin mimic roaches show Batesian mimicry (in contrast to Mullerian mimicry shown in wasps and bees). When you choose any group, Tarantulas /Mantises /Roaches /isopods you can take a close look to expand the mind.

Keeping a mix of species including roaches and isopods allows me to incorporate waste from mantises, tarantulas, and reptiles into other groups as feed, living and learning cycles in the environment. These experiences as a hobbiest builds familiarity through fascination, and, similar to learning a new plant, it enhances life experience by seeing through the mundane to pick out detail and connection.

I aim to support others interested in bugs and the wellbeing of arthropods around the world. We (each of us as a community) desperately need to reach out in non-biased and nurturing ways to people that are scared of these tiny neighbors, to offer an interesting focus on these armored marvels. I am working on spreading education in the future with resin art, the mobile bug zoo, more informational YT videos, and recently a new line of stickers/pins.

From compost enhancing Roly-polies, which are a type of crustacean, to alien-like top predator mantises, arthropods come in all shapes and sizes, and are just waiting to teach us more about the Earth we all have in common.

The Earth is what we all have in common.