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.
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.
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.