My mantises hatched!

I knew it would happen very soon since the mantises in the yard have been hatching over the last week or so, but as the day for my business trip approached I was getting nervous.


But Sunday morning I saw that their "empty" jar was no longer empty -- do you know what that means? It means lots more photos of my favorite garden insect babies!

***


The great thing about keeping an egg case in the refrigerator over the winter is that when the hatching occurs you can scatter the nymphs all over the garden.


The bad thing about having a jar full of cute and tiny newborns is that many of them are quite content to hang out in the jar for a while. Since this egg case was on a section of PVC pipe, that made it even more difficult to get them to leave, as the shy ones had a great place to hide.


Some though are raring to go, and can't wait to get out into the world!



The eager ones usually get to live in the big bamboos as they're crawling up my hand, looking for the highest spot...


...but I walk around slowly spreading their siblings all over the yard.

This bright yellow (chartreuse?) Pleioblastus viridistriatus isn't the best place to practice camouflage...

Your leg stripes don't make you able to blend in here!

...but I remember on one of my first bamboo collection trips to Needmore Bamboo I saw a couple of mantises in Brad's viridistriatus, so I put a couple here every year.

Some get placed on blooms...

Feverfew blooms are just the right size!

...where there is plenty to eat, although this hover fly is a bit too large for a first meal:


Sometimes formidable prey has already taken up residence so I didn't release any here:

Katydid nymph

Most just get put on leaves...



...where there is just as much activity as on the blooms it seems:


The last couple of tykes got wooshed out of the tube blowgun style, as they just didn't want to come out on their own:


Then I put the egg case into a potted plant in the event there would be any late emergers:


So that's the last of the baby mantids for this year. Sigh.



I have so much fun over the summer checking back on these guys, hunting for them, delighting when I find one that's larger but in essentially the exact place they were released.

I wonder what the mantis population of my garden is this year, as this is the third hatching that I know about, and surely there were many more further from the house?

.


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Tante Mali  – (June 10, 2014 at 5:06 AM)  

Oh wow, what great pictures!!! Congratulations! Love them all.
Have a happy and sunny time and
all the best from Austria
Elisabeth

TJ Hanna  – (June 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM)  

LOVE that 5th one from the bottom. You caught her shadow perfectly!!

Mark and Gaz  – (June 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM)  

They're such cool creatures Alan, so photogenic, fun, and beneficial to the garden!

Barbie  – (June 12, 2014 at 8:14 AM)  

Hi alan - I am still in the land of the living - watch your posts so still know whats happening in your garden - love the mantido's!! Sooo cute! I also love watching them - they are so delicate. THanks for post!!

Alan  – (June 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM)  

Barbie: glad to hear from you! (I've missed your posts)

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