Gathan Beaga

Mantis female

female praying mantis laying her eggsHere’s something you don’t see that often: a female praying mantis extruding her egg case. I have never seen this happen before, although our house has quite a few old empty ones crusting up the paintwork. B₂ and I will be able to keep an eye on it for the emergence of the mantis infants, although I’m going to have to do some research to see how long that will take.

Apparently this, our native mantis, is being displaced by an introduced species of mantis from South Africa. Maybe they haven’t reached Wellington yet, as I have only see this variety.

I was also a little concerned later this afternoon to see a tiny fly with a large ovipositor clambering over the now hard case. I wonder if mantises have their own parasitic wasps? I hope not. I love those wee mantis babies.

Updated, May 2009: I have recently discovered another female praying mantis depositing her egg sac (otherwise known as an “ootheca”), this time on our car. In addition, I have some more mantis photos.

Updated, October 2009: We’ve had lots of little mantises hatch inside the house – pictures here.

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