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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby Mantids

     Jim and Wendy, neighbors across the street, ordered a praying-mantis egg case so their children could see the babies  (known as nymphs) hatch out. That "blessed event" happened this afternoon, and several neighborhood children got to see and handle the hatchlings. It was the first time I had seen new-hatched
praying mantids myself, except in pictures.

The nymph's body is 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch long, overall (1-1.5 cm.)
A nymph explores my daughter's finger.
Jim released about half the new praying mantids among his own landscape plants, then offered me the rest. I released them on my wife's peonies, on the burgeoning clematis, and on some of my trees.

A nymph on my yamadori ponderosa (center of picture.)
Mantids travel. On top of that, right now one of these nymphs would be an easy lunch for any medium-sized ant that happened along! So the odds are low that we'll see any of these particular praying mantids again. But it would be nice to encounter a full-grown mantis later this summer, and wonder whether it started life in Jim and Wendy's hatching jar.  :-)


  1. Great post, natures insecticide :-) Ugly little fellas though :-)

    1. Ugly, true. Fun to have around, of course, and useful as you say. Sometimes when an adult mantis fixes me with its stare I almost wonder if it really understands that I'm too big for it to eat!