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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Mantis Hatchlings

I had been watching the ootheca of a springbok mantis - Miomantis caffra - on the wall next to my front door since I moved in here five months ago, then suddenly, last week it was covered in a swarm of tiny little mantis nymphs, each about 7mm long.

There were twenty on the first evening. With smaller numbers emerging over the next three days - all in the late afternoon.

I caught the hatching process on video a couple of times, but it is a long, slow process - emerging as a worm-shaped thing, and then wriggling to unfurl their limbs.

They then hang around on the ootheca until they have hardened and turned brown, after which they mostly seem to wait nearby until nightfall before dispersing.

These little guys still have a way to go to become a fully-fledged adult:

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