Mantis eggs

A few weeks ago when I was cleaning up the triangle box, I noticed something that is pretty exciting to me:


The egg case of a praying mantis!



If you're not sure what a praying mantis is, here's one from a few summers ago:


The mantis is considered to be a beneficial insect in the garden, because they eat other insects that may be damaging your plants. Whether they protect my plants or not, I just think they're one of the coolest insects around!

The egg case was located at the top of the small pergola:


I'm surprised a bird didn't find it, because my suet feeder hangs only a couple of feet away on one of the vertical posts of that pergola. This other egg case which is on one of the vertical posts of that same pergola  was apparently found and eaten by a bird:


Although the eggs are gone which is a bad thing, we get to see some of the internal structure, which is a good thing. Very interesting!

Since there were two cases so close together, I decided to hunt around for more. I found one under the deck stairs:


I found another one in one of the bamboos:


I found another under the deck stairs handrail:


Looks like there will be no shortage of mantises in my yard this year! I wonder how many more are scattered throughout my yard?

Since there are already so many cases around the deck, I decided to remove the egg case from the triangle pergola. I have a feeling if I don't it will be discovered by a bird and eaten, and I really like watching the eggs hatch up close. So I took an old paint scraper and popped the casing off.


It's not damaged. Other years I've done this just with my fingers, but this one was really well-attached. I've put it in a jar on the kitchen counter, and will keep an eye on it for the next few months.


If things go as they have in the past, all of these will hatch right around Father's Day -- which is June 20 this year. Then we'll have a horde of tiny mantises that I can release all over the yard. I don't know what it is about Father's Day that baby mantises like, but for at least three years the hatchings have occurred exactly on Father's Day.

We won't talk about the time we left the jar lid open and had to capture dozens of the little guys from all over the kitchen. At least not today.

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Anonymous –   – (January 5, 2014 at 2:53 PM)  

that is really cool- i like mantises ever since i was 6.

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