Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Manti Have Hatched!

This morning, the praying mantis egg case hatched unexpectedly!

Theoretically the small nymphs are letting their exoskeletons harden. Quite a number of nymphs emerged from the egg case but it's not clear how many will survive. We'll see.

Here's some shots of one of the little monsters in waiting. now about an inch long, or less, perhaps a half inch. Someday the survivors will grow to be 6-8" inches in length, and eat a lot of insects along the way.

(click on the pictures to see larger versions - special thanks to Chuck Isdale for photos.)

When the nymphs are new they are pretty chill.

(click on the picture for a larger view)

It's the strangest thing to see such a small likeness of the eventual monster.

(click on the picture for a larger view)

Another perspective. You can kind of make out the bulbous eyes.

(click on the picture for a larger view)

It almost looks like a mosquito -- but there are the little arms out front. And by golly the insects in the garden this year will hopefully have some manti to keep them away from the sunflowers!

(click on the picture for a larger view)

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