morning mantids

lucky enough to see my third egg case actually hatching!

“A popular misconception is that the female mantis attacks and eats the male after he has fertilized her. This is true in capitivity but rare in the wild; scientists are still unsure exactly why this phenomena occurs.

Female mantids deposit batches of between 10 and 400 fertilized eggs using their ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen. The eggs are secured to stems, leaves, or other surfaces, with each egg batch housed in an ootheca (egg case) constructed from a frothy substance produced in the abdomen. Each egg is deposited in an individual compartment inside the ootheca, and each compartment has a one-way valve permitting the young insects to hatch with minimal effort. The ootheca hardens quickly, providing protection from parasitic insects, birds, and the sun.”

40 minutes later…

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