Friday, May 21, 2010

Have You Ever Seen This?

About a month ago, we were studying insects that go through incomplete metamorphosis. You, know. Instead of having four stages (egg, larvae, pupa, adult), they have three (egg, naiad or nymph, adult). Many female adults of the incomplete metamorphosis variety lay egg cases. Our book encouraged us to go out and see if we could find any- in bushes, under leaves, etc.
I remembered seeing some kind of egg case attached to the bush right outside our school room window. It was in the bush where a praying mantis hung out all last summer, so I was secretly hoping it was a praying mantis egg case. We found a couple other cases, put them in jars and set them on the counter to observe. When I had a chance, I looked up pictures of praying mantis egg cases and sure enough, that's what what the one from the bush was.


On Thursday of last week, I had checked the jars in the morning.  There was nothing going on.   Less than two hours later, one jar caught my eye and look we what saw...


It was amazing! The jar was swarming with praying mantis nymphs (which look like mini versions of the adults) falling out of the case and crawling all over the inside of the jar. Here are some pictures and a video for you.




video

Once we had our fill, and out of fear that they might start eating each other (which they are capable of), we kept a few and let the rest outside. Some we let crawl into my ever-aphid-infested rose bush (they love aphids) and the rest Jamey took to the garden.  We're putting these babies to work.


The ones we kept inside weren't doing well. They were too small to handle the adult flies and other bugs we gave them for food. Really small bugs are hard for kids (and grown ups) to find. If you ever have a chance to watch them hatch (which I highly recommend) I would advise letting them all go right away.  We let go the few we had kept a couple days later.

Our Creator never ceases to amaze me. Pin It

16 comments:

  1. When I was a kid we brought one into the house and kept it on a window sill in a storage room. One day we realized that we had thousands of teeny praying mantis babes all over the room. Alas, they all died because it was the wrong time of year.

    Aunt V.

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  2. That is very cool! What a great science lesson & Bible lesson at the same time :)

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  3. oh dear....I was giving thanks for the lid on your jar!! Whew....

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  4. Oh my, the sheer number of all those babies together in the jar that came out of that ONE egg case started my stomach churning!

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  5. Almost...we found our "marshmallows" after they hatched. We love our mantids! Thanks for the pix. I'm always worried that we'll kill anything that we bring in to observe.

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  6. How cool is that? I bet the kids LOVED watching that!

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  7. I knew it was praying mantis! My boys found an egg case years ago and we, too, put it in a jar to see what happened. What an amazing event! We let ours go into our Japanese Maple next to our front porch (I didn't have a garden at the time...darnit!) Praying mantis are such a beautiful insect...admittedly, I'm so not a big person. But mantis are different... :)

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  8. Wow, I never realized there were that many of them in one egg!! Too cool!

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  9. That is pretty neat, I almost ordered some this Spring. After seeing how cool they are I will do it next year. Thanks for sharing!!

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  10. The kids and I gathered around the computer to see this fascinating site! I had no idea what their egg sack looked like or that they hatch so many at once! And I don't think I'd seen a "baby" mantis. Thanks for a great science lesson!

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  11. How AMAZING!!!! Thanks for sharing!! I don't think we have those out here on the coast...that would be SO COOL to observe! I agree...our Great Creator God has done MARVELOUS things!!

    Blessings,
    Camille

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  12. Wow that is so amazing, what a wonderful sight to watch, we did that as a child I remember, but this is so awesome, lots of hugs, Barbara

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  13. During my first year of teaching we ordered a mantis egg case and put it in an empty glass aquarium with a mesh top. A few weeks later I arrived to class in the morning to find babies all over the classroom. The babies were small enough to escape through the mesh. I learned a valuable lesson that day.

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  14. So kewl!!! Home schooled kids have the best of both worlds!!! I bet your children were so excited!!!
    Blessings~

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  15. That is so interesting and just so incredibly cool. Thank you so much for sharing pictures with us!!! I loved seeing this. And I totally agree, I will never get my fill of the things our Creator has blessed us with.

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  16. That's really cool! I've never had a PM egg case to watch hatch, but while I was working in our garden this weekend, I saw a teeny little PM walking around on my tomato plant! It was the coolest thing to see a mini version of the adult. I'll have to look for an egg case next year - we always see one or two PM's around our house!

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