Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Crop of Mantids

Mantids have begun emerging from the egg case saved from last fall. I cut it off the forsythia bush, which needed a trim, and placed it on some ornamental grass. A couple days ago I noticed a clump of white stuff attached to the egg case by fine strings.

Believe it or not, these are the emerging mantids. One group came out first and this is another group.

Here is a fine fellow from the first group. Several dozen could be seen clambering over the grass, but they tended to duck or jump away at the approach of a camera. Now only about half an inch long, those that survive will grow to five inches or more. Meanwhile, my neighbor and I hope they will patrol the garden and eat up insect pests all summer - and maybe not snack on butterflies, as seen in this slide show.
--Bernice Paglia


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