Praying Mantis Hatching

Started May 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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ysal
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Praying Mantis Hatching
May 19, 2012

It's been quite a week of encounters with nature for me! And this actually isn't the end of it, but that is for a later thread. I found this praying mantis egg sack on my backyard fence back in December or so. I've been watching it since, knowing that it takes 5 to 6 months to develop. Earlier this week, I found the egg sack detached and laying on the ground. I assumed I missed the hatching, so I placed the egg sack on a wood fence. This morning, to my surprise, it started to hatch!!! The baby mantis are so tiny, it was really hard to photograph, but it was so interesting that I had to post these. I had to move the egg sack several times because predators like lizards and spiders kept coming over. These are all shot with LC55 or Raynox250, or both stacked.
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First, the babies squeezed out of the egg sack through tiny slits. It took them 5 - 10 minutes to wiggle out, and they were very pale, almost white at first. Once outside, they laid quite still for another 10 minutes or so.

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Then thy slowly started to change colors, more tan/brown, and wiggled until they could walk.

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As soon as they could walk, they moved away very quickly to seek shelter. This continued for 3 to 4 hours, producing several hundred baby mantis!!

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These newborns are about 0.25" (5mm) or so. It was really hard to focus on them with my camera!!!!!

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This is not a very good shot, but I thought their faces were really cute - look at the little guy at lower right!

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yuki

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