In the seven summers we’ve lived in this house, I’ve occasionally seen a praying mantis in the yard, sometimes out front and sometimes out back. This past summer I began seeing one pretty regularly in and around the front bushes. She is kind of shy, tolerating a couple of pictures before retreating beneath the leaves suspicious of my intentions. Praying mantids are indiscriminate carnivores. As such they function as nature’s pest control eating mosquitos, ticks, aphids and more. They are welcome in my yard. Late into fall I saw the mantis in the same spot on the same bush. I thought maybe she was dead. As I approach to investigate, she moved. Curious as to what becomes of them in winter, I did some research. I learned that female mantids will deposit several egg sacks, each adhered to a branch, before they die in the fall. These sacks overwinter and after several weeks of 70 degree temperatures in the spring 100-300 baby mantids will emerge. Once fall turned to winter and the leaves fell from the bushes, I went looking for these egg sacks. I found three!
We’re going to have baby mantids!! They may be hard to find, but I hope to catch a glimpse of them when they hatch in the spring.
More to come?