Sunday, June 26, 2011


These are my photos of a praying mantis egg case (ootheca) with young just emerging. I was exceptionally lucky to be in the garden at just the right time to capture this moment! There had been a lot more mantises clinging to the case before I found it. Unfortunately, I hadn’t initially seen them when I was pruning this bush and got so excited when I did that I let go of the branch, causing most of the tiny creatures to be flung across the garden!

I love to watch these voracious eaters on my plants preying on annoying insects throughout the season. It’s neat to see them getting bigger by molting (splitting open their outside skeleton – exoskeleton – and emerging a size larger).

They have a different life cycle than most insects in that they have three stages: egg, nymph, adult. After the adults mate, the female lays a foamy egg-filled case that hardens. Eventually, tiny adult-looking insects emerge and molt many times, getting larger and larger throughout their lives until they reach adulthood. You may have read about the mating behavior of the adult female who sometimes eats her mate just after, or even during mating. Perhaps not knowing what is in store for him, the male is not deterred from this often fatal process!

Linked to Cottage Flora Thursdays


  1. I found your post good and informative. I like your article. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Fabulous - i've seen these for sale at Home Depot & thought about getting some for the garden, but i worry i'd scare myself if i came a cross one! haha Thanks for sharing at Cottage Flora Thursday's Garden Party! xoxo, tracie


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