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Art student makes intricate tiny apartments for her pet praying mantises

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By Jessica Hehir-Smith via SWNS

This art student has created detailed mini apartments for her three praying mantises to live in featuring mini-posters, tint fake bongs and a Henri Mant-isse painting.

Amy Igri, 23, began caring for the insects after receiving a call to action from a college friend after a Californian mantis landed on her window.

She took it in and, after naming her Rosacea, Amy researched how to take care of the insect and found a huge community of hobbyists online with a wealth of information.

The idea for her mini-mantis apartment came from her years as an art student, taking inspiration from dollhouses, online apartment tours and her own college housing experiences.

Amy, from Florida, who is studying at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, said: “Raising and caring for praying mantises isn’t seen as very ‘glam’ online.

“The world of insects is a very male-orientated space, so I wanted to add some creativity and femininity to it.

“I’ve loved bugs since I was a child, but I eventually grew out of the phase, so it’s been great to come back to them and really learn and understand these amazing creatures.”

The mini-apartments took Amy a few weeks to create, finding the perfect items and arranging them inside their 17cm acrylic enclosures, which are completely safe for her beloved bugs.

They feature decorations inspired by Amy’s own room.

The shelves have a mini fake bong and various cleaning products, whilst the floor features discarded takeaway packaging, water bottles and even a mini tub of peanut butter.

Amy emphasized that her mantises really like them and enjoy exploring their new apartments, just as much as she loves watching them.

Taking care of mantises has allowed Amy to see how interesting and perceptive they are, leading to her get three more, Purse, Prosciutto and Caper, after beloved Roseacea died.

She added: “I told my art teacher that I had a huge funeral for her when she died, and she remarked on how it was such a radical act of love for something so small.

“When I first got her I would camp out by a compost bin on campus to catch crickets for her.

“I would get so many weird looks for it and my siblings thought it was totally gross, but I absolutely loved her.”

The online reaction to her unconventional pets has taken Amy by surprise, as she didn’t expect so many people to resonate with her mini mantis apartment.

Amy added: “I can’t believe the amount of people it has reached and just how much people relate to my crazy project.

“It feels surreal to know that where my mantises live is loved by people around the world, but it is also so human.

“I’m going to keep posting all my weird art projects as my stuff seems to really affect people.

“I hope I can open people up to the possibility of loving something so small and separate from our world.”

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