small bug icon  200+ praying mantis babies!!


Click a picture to see a larger view.

The hatching...

I had stored the egg case in a large jar over the winter to provide added protection against the elements. Once the weather warmed up, I noticed one evening after work that I was the 'father' of over 200 little baby praying mantes!

This story actually starts with the mating of the parents. Be sure to view the Sex in my garden, if you have not done so already.


 

Exploring their new world...

I quickly realized that I did not have means to 'feed' the young mantes, so released them in to the wild of my garden. What follows are a series of photographs as the young mantes explore their new enviornment, eventually leaving the familiarity of their egg case. I was amazed as I watched these 1/2 inch miniatures climbing around!

 

Egg case dissection

Once all of the praying mantes had gone off, I satisfied by curiosity about the composition of the egg case by cutting it open lengthwise. The egg case was surprisingly tough. The pictures below show the individual cells which housed the eggs prior to hatching.

 

Juvenile praying mantes

The nice thing about photographing nature in your own backyard is that you can return often to check on progress. I tracked several of the young praying mantes over the next few week. They seems to grow at a very healthy rate.

This story actually started with the mating of the parent praying mantes. Be sure to view the Sex in my garden page, if you have not done so already.

   

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