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Praying Mantis Babies!

So tiny

I found a praying mantis egg case, called an ootheca, in one of my flower pots last week. Then I checked every day, hoping I wouldn’t miss the hatching.

Friday afternoon, I thought a bug was on the side of the case (you can kind of see it below) and was worried a predator was going to eat the babies.

Except, it WAS one of the babies.

So small! They were scurrying all over my potting bench, finding their way down to the ground.

I thought the egg case would pop open, or crack like an egg. But that’s not how the babies emerge.

Here’s the case pried off the pot. It looks and feels like Styrofoam.

Got out the X-Acto knife to see where the babies developed.

It’s pretty solid throughout. Each mantis develops in one of those little channels, and when it’s time to leave, they chew their way out.

Here’s hoping they’re growing big and strong in my yard by eating aphids.

I need all the aphid control help I can get this year.

~Debbie

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