Wednesday, January 21, 2009

nature's own pest control.

While digging around my flower beds looking for signs of spring, i came across this interesting mass on the stem of my purple cone flowers.

This is a praying mantis egg case!

If you happened to read my nature journal, you may remember that i found a pair of mating praying mantids in my flowerbed last Sept. The female stuck around a few days, and then disappeared. i looked everywhere for her egg case hoping she had laid it close by, but never found it...until now! In the spring this little case will hatch about 100-200 tiny mantises, all at once. Mantids are beneficial in a garden as they will devour most garden pests. We'll probably bring the egg case inside this spring when the temps begin to warm up. We can keep it in an aquarium so that we'll get to experience them hatching and then release them.

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