Praying Mantis

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?

3 Replies to “Praying Mantis”

  1. I hope you are not overrun with baby mantids … but sounds like we all could use a small family of them in our yards. Looking forward to more of the story maybe late in May or so…. You are such a good teacher of nature, Sheila! 🙂

  2. We have hatched a praying mantis egg before. You can take one and put it in a butterfly enclosure and just be sure to check it every day. When they emerge they are as small as an ant but more delicate and look exactly like the full grown version, but exceptionally tiny. They are incredible! Can’t wait to see what comes in May!

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