Mantis eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the female's 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. As in related insect groups, mantises go through three stages of metamorphosis: egg, nymph, and adult (mantises are among the hemimetabolic insects). The nymph and adult insect are structurally quite similar, except that the nymph is smaller and has no wings or functional genitalia. The nymphs are also sometimes colored differently from the adult, and the early stages are often mimics of ants. A mantis nymph increases in size (often changing its diet as it does so) by replacing its outer body covering with a sturdy, flexible exoskeleton and molting when needed. This can happen from five to ten times, depending on the species. After the final molt most species have wings, though some species are wingless or brachypterous ("short-winged"), particularly in the female sex.
Another mantis egg pod in our garden!
Lat: 35.90, Long: -86.96
Spotted on Nov 26, 2011
Submitted on Nov 26, 2011