Sunday, May 27, 2007

Baby Bugs


Back in March, I mentioned the praying mantis egg sacs that we had on our bushes and trees. One of those was in the weeping willow tree in the back garden. Yesterday, as I was pruning the tree, I felt a tickle on my left arm. I looked down, to see a teeny tiny praying mantis! Measuring no more than 3/8 of an inch long, I knew it hadn't been hatched for long. Several minutes later, I came across the egg sac, and there were still praying mantids emerging...

I noticed a couple of them on my miniature roses nearby a little while later. I was thrilled to see this, because earlier in the week, I found aphids munching away on the new flower buds. I used Safer's Soap on them and I've not seen any since, but I'll just let these natural predators take care of things now. Aphids are one of praying mantis nymphs' favorite meals.


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14 comments:

Carol said...

Wonderful, and I like that you pictured the egg sac so gardeners will recognize them in their own gardens and leave them alone. Praying mantis are our friends!

Muum said...

We found some last year when they were so small and cute, not like the ferocious warriors they become!

Opal: Vegan Momma said...

Oh what a truly fabulous gift! I'm still waiting for ours to hatch. There is an egg sack on attached to my peonies.

Kate said...

That is a really cool picture ... these mantis look very different from the ones here... although I've always assumed they are preying mantis and perhaps I am wrong. It wouldn't be the first time ...

Ottawa Gardener said...

Cool - let them eat bugs!

Robin said...

That is so interesting! I've never seen one of their sacs before; I had never even thought about where they came from. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

Fantastic! I'm waiting for some to hatch out as well. What a fantastic picture!

Kylee said...

And I just realized if I didn't spend so much time in my gardens, I probably would never have witnessed this event. Just one more reason I love gardening! :-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Excellent pic but brrrrr praying mantis, not exactly very pleasing to the eye, are they? ;-) But of course they make up for it by eating loads of aphids!

Kylee said...

Oh, Yolanda! I actually love how they look! Of course, I do always go for the abstract and unusual... :-)

Interesting comment here - Mom said an entomologist that spoke to her garden club said that praying mantids don't really eat all that many insects. At least not to a point that they can be used for control.

Still, I do love them and welcome them in my garden. They can't hurt!

No Rain said...

It's nice to read about gardens from other parts of the country. Great photos!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

How absolutely wonderful, Kylee! (Eat away, little mantis nymphs... *smile*)

chigiy said...

I love cute little preditory insects that eat ugly parasitic ones:)We get mostly ladybugs and lacewings around here.

Christa said...

Oh, wow, what a cool photo! I think the praying mantis is such an interesting insect. I've never seen young ones, nor the egg sac. Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

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