When we got home on Saturday afternoon, we saw a praying mantis laying eggs in the grouting between the bricks that make up our outside fireplace.
I thought it was quite magical to see this. And I feel honoured that she chose to lay her eggs in our garden, because they are extraordinary little predators, hunting all kinds of small insects – as well as “small reptiles, rodents, frogs and small birds” (Wikipedia)!! Good grief!
It is a good sign to see mantises in your garden, but they won’t survive if you use a lot of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
With regard to procreation,
“Eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the abdomen. This froth then hardens, creating a protective capsule with a further protective coat, and the egg mass is called an ootheca. Depending on the species these can be attached to a flat surface, wrapped around a plant or even deposited in the ground. Despite the versatility and durability of the eggs, they are often preyed on, especially by several species of parasitic wasps. In a few species, the mother guards the eggs.” (Wikipedia)
In our case, I haven’t seen Mumsy around since last night, so either she was eaten or she flew away. Perhaps she’s trusting us to keep an eye on her littl’uns.
I’ll keep ya posted.