I know that many of you don’t consider the
Praying Mantis as a pet, but I just love these creatures in my garden! ...and I don't even have to feed or walk them! When I
find their hardened tan foamy nests, I am all smiles! I know that there will be
less damage to my flowers. These insects are ravenous eaters and do a lot to
help get rid of harmful insects.
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!