I was walking down the big hill on my way to work Wednesday and I noticed a splash of green on the stone wall beside me. Ah! A praying mantis! I will photograph you, green bug, and add you to my All Praying Mantii All the Time Blog!
But what are you doing exactly?
Your ass seems to be exploding.
It actually looked like there was a bug that was vomiting from the back end of the mantis. Look at those antennae things. They were feeling around as white goop spilled out of the rear of the insect.
Well - what she was doing, in fact, was laying her eggs. From Insecta Inspecta World "After mating, the female will lay groups of 12-400 eggs in the autumn, in a "frothy" liquid called an "ootheca", that turns into a hard protective shell. This is how these insects survive during the wintertime. Small mantids emerge in the spring. Often, their first meal is a sibling."
I offered to coach her through her labour, but she told me to "Bug Off!"
I've seen them hatch before, the baby bugs. They spread out from what I had assumed was a glop of wallpaper paste and covered my spare room when I lived in Japan - and I do mean covered. They were EVERYWHERE! They're fantastic when they break free - perfect tiny replicas of their parents. Mini-mantii!
Here's what the nest looked like on the way to work today. There was no sign of Mama Mantis, who probably went off to die somewhere.