Praying Mantis in my Garden

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mantis 1I found several cocoons in my garden during Spring cleanup and I was very worried about them. Last year I had been plagued by tomato worms, squash borers, etc. I suspected the worst from these cocoons. Then I met someone in my garden. A praying mantis! Yippeee!

After meeting him (he actually ran right on to my hand and freaked me out a bit) I got to wondering if the cocoons we had weren’t mantis cocoons. I immediately put them under glass! I did not want mantis babies all over the house! (The were originally under screen.) And lookie what happened:

Notice: Ummm… if little bugs make you kinda squeamish, you might want to stop reading this post now. Hehe…

Mantis Collage 1a
The great hatching! Sorry for the blurry pictures. Hard to get a clear shot through glass! Also, the cocoons kept sliding off the sticks. I’d put ‘em back on and they’d slide right off. Baby mantis are wet when they hatch though so I put paper down instead of having them right on top of the dirt. It helped!

Mantis Collage 1b
The great release! I put a cocoon back on a stick to show the size of a baby and what it looked like after it was hatched and dried off. This cocoon kept releasing babies almost every morning for a week!!! The other cocoon molded for some reason and never hatched. I put it back out in the garden to let it run it’s course as it might. I prefer mantis babies dried and hatched. I find them incredibly adorable, super fast and curious. How’d a thought a BUG could seem curious?!

This was a fantastic science “experiment” for the kids! I am so excited (and a bit unnerved) by all the eyes watching me in my garden now too. Bugs should be kept to a minimum after a few hundred of these went outside. I gave some to my mom-n-law, parents and a friend too. There were a TON!I had left a few cocoons out there too so I am sure I got more than I thought.

Have you ever seen a praying mantis in your garden before? Watched them hatch or eat bugs?! It’s all kinda gross and really cool too! I never did get a good picture that would have shown you how many were in the jar. It was way over 100 though.

I am linking this post my NEVER WORDLESS Wednesday and Garden Update post to:
5 Minutes for Mom
It's a Blog Party Bloghop!
Dagmar's Momsense


5ennie said...

Very cool, Dee!! I'm going to send a link to my kids so they can come check out you post, too!

Sonita @ said...

My son found a full grown mantid I have a post about it with a video of it eating a like grasshopper.

Sonita @ said...

Yours are WAAAAAAAAY cuter than mine though! LOL

Gina said...

Fascinating! I've never seen them hatch but I've seen these egg cases before. Now I know what it is! Thanks for sharing!

jen said...

That is totally cool. I had no idea that would be so many in one cocoon. That's awesome. Now I'll know to keep an eye out for them!

debbie said...

fantastic post! never seen a baby praying manthis! or its cocoon! make a great unit study!

Anonymous said...

I just googled through this, I found 1 light brown one near my water faucet out in the backyard. (I've been trying to grow my first set of okra) sure enough about a month later... I think I found the same one yet, now its slightly bigger, and now green; and just where I was hoping he/she would be, right next to the growing okra stalking prey xD.
I did want to film it... so when I brought my camera he put full attention on me and started flipping out when I got closer. (sorry for the long post)

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