Wednesday, October 28, 2020

What Is That?

 Walking up the steps to our front door after our walk I noticed this hanging just below the one of the steps. Mmm? What is that? I know it's a praying mantis, but what's going on there? What is that white creature that seems to be eating the mantis? That just seemed wrong in every way. I bent down and touched the mantis. It did not move at all. I thought, oh wow it's probably dead. 

I went in the house and did a few chores. Then I remembered to go back out to see if the mantis was still being consumed. When I went out the mantis was completely gone and the white thing was still there. Interesting critter. Then I noticed the mantis was trying to climb up the front wall of our house. It was still alive. So I googled around and found that this praying mantis was  actually laying eggs under the little bit of stair when I photographed it. So now I have a new project documenting what becomes of these praying mantis eggs.

The little metal mesh thing is one of our many preventative measures in stopping the yellow jackets from nesting under our entry way steps. They are truly an aggressive nuisance and nasty as well. Oh wow that just reminded me of someone, but I won't mention who.

26 comments:

  1. There's always something new to learn if we just keep our eyes open. Interesting to see what happens with the eggs.

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    1. John-- That's the best part of always taking a good long look around.

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  2. Mmm intriguing! We look forward to the updates.

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    1. sarah toa-- I can't wait to see the changes. I did read that the eggs won't hatch until the first warm days of spring. Wonder what happens between then and now.

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  3. Once years ago a bunch of baby mantises hatched from a plant we had brought in from the deck. They were tiny little mantises, actually so small they were hard to see. Cutest little things. I posted a photo of them.

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    1. Mark-- I googled around and found some photos of baby mantises. They are SO tiny and cute. I can't wait to see them.

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  4. Good eye. Lucky you saw it climbing up the wall.

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    1. Red-- Yes, I'm glad the mama mantis was fine and the eggs are good too.

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  5. That is facinating. I can see why you thought the mantis was being eaten. It sure looked dead to me. I checked and a mantis will eat yellow jackets but also bees. Maybe we can entice them to get murder hornets. It will be interesting to see the hatchlings.

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    1. Patti-- It really looked dead to me, and when I touched it didn't move at all. There was activity where the white thing was, so I figured it was a weird white caterpillar eating the mantis. Hah!

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  6. yes, a praying mantis egg case. when they hatch, if you catch it, dozens of tiny mantises emerge about ¼" in size. I've never seen them actually emerge but I have stumbled on the tiny things before they scatter.

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    1. ellen-- I am so looking forward to seeing them. It may take a while, but I'm going to document all the changes to the egg case.

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  7. Oh, wow! That is such an interesting find! It will be cool to see how many come out of the eggs, and how small they will be!

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    1. owl-- We're going to keep an eye on it over winter and hope for the spring arrivals.

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  8. I had to look up praying mantis. I have obviously heard of them but we don't have them in England. The babies do look very cute...about the size of a mosquito!

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    1. Frances-- We are looking forward to seeing the babies in spring.

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  9. That seems like a hell of a lot of eggs for one praying mantis! Looks healthy which is a good sign.

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    1. Dr Michelle-- It does seem like a lot of eggs. I'm looking forward to documenting the changes in that egg sac.

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  10. Wow! That's quite a privilege, to have your steps chosen as a nesting site by a mantis. I guess it knew it would be safe there. Let us know what happens!

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    1. Steve-- We were so surprised by this mantis's choice. I always think we have a lot more critters because of our yard full of flowers. I plan on documenting the changes and hopefully the emerging mantis babies in spring.

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  11. Thank you for bringing yet another mystery into focus and persevering in seeking to understand it (-:

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  12. Looks like you're about to have some little praying mantii!

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    1. Catalyst-- We're going to start looking in early spring.

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