Monday, June 22, 2009

The Babies Are Here!

Last fall we had a friendly lady praying mantis hanging around our front window by the front door.  One day I saw this very disgusting glob of white stuff on the window frame and I guessed it was a praying mantis egg sack - I googled it and confirmed my suspicions.  Days later the praying mantis was lying on the ground dead under the window.  
This is not our praying mantis or her egg sack but I thought I'd get you a decent picture since I don't have one.  I read this on wikipedia about the praying mantis: "The female then lays between 10 and 400 eggs, depending on the species.  Eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the abdomen.  This froth then hardens, creating a protective capsule with a further protective coat, and the egg mass is called an ootheca."  So, I also found out these 10 to 400 (!) eggs would hatch in spring.  I've been waiting and waiting with no results and thought maybe something had happened to them.  Recently I noticed there was a sort of web around the egg sack and there were lots of little bugs caught in the web.  I just assumed they were gnats or something and didn't even think of looking closer.  Upon closer examination I discovered they were actually little baby praying mantises (manti ?).  There were probably 30 or so caught in the web:
There were others all around the window and ground as well, so hopefully (?) some of them will make it!  I'm not sure if their life cycle is only one season, but I would imagine (let's google that on our own - shall we?).  I'll keep you posted if I notice any big guys around this summer. 

It sort of reminds me of Charlotte's Web when her babies hatch and never get to know their mama.  Perhaps I should go out and tell the babies all about their mama and give them obnoxious names - better yet, the cat can do it through the window where he sits. 

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