Monday, February 27, 2012

Watch Out! Praying Mantis Egg Cases!

   I've been doing a bit of Spring cleaning in the garden beds recently and have been trying very hard to keep my eyes open for overwintering insects or eggs, so as not to accidentally toss them into the compost pile. Once again, it's truly amazing to see what's up under our noses, unbeknownst to us all this time. So far I've found three praying mantis egg cases, and thanks to David at A Native Backyard for the ID tip. Apparently, right before she dies at the end of summer, a female praying mantis lays her eggs in these hard foam cases to overwinter and hatch the following spring.
Please! Be careful while tidying up this spring and don't unintentionally toss away one of these egg cases of this most beneficial insect!

I plan on checking them every day (if I can remember) in hopes that I'll get to see them hatching.
They're quite small, probably only 1-1.5 inches across...


  1. Holy Cow! I've seen those before but never knew what thew were.Thanks for the heads-up.Also, what plants have you found them on?

  2. Cool - I love to find these things, but they can be well hidden.

  3. I must confess....I saw one of these in my yard and, thinking someone left a pork rind behind, ate it yesterday.
    Now I know why it tasted like a hamster.
    Thank you, Julie, for the info. I will not make this same mistake again.

  4. Great find! I wish we had mantids here, the next best thing is walking sticks although not nearly as entertaining.

  5. Thanks for this! Shall be on the (hopeful) lookout!

  6. After reading this post, I spotted some in my garden...
    My pictures didn't turn out as clear... couldn't use them.
    I'd seen these cases other times, and not tried to identify...

  7. Hey! Congratulations on finding some! I learned about them from a fellow blogger, so I'm happy to be able to pass along the ID information.