Friday, June 20, 2014
For the past few weeks, we've had a plastic container on our table with two egg cases inside, each allegedly home to around 100-200 praying mantids. Whilst eating lunch yesterday afternoon, Silkworm and I caught sight of two of the first itty bitty hatchlings crawling around in the container, and we immediately alerted Madre and took the eggs outside where the rest could hatch and get on searching for food.
One of the two first hatchlings had the audacity to crawl right up on Madre's hand, and then I offered him my finger, which he continued up to fearlessly explore the backside of my hand.
Once the eggs were hung carefully, one in a tree near our house and one in a bush in our garden, I gently poured out the shavings in the container to check for any other hatchlings, and we did happen to find a third one under the mess. He seemed a bit crippled, but perhaps he'd only just hatched, looking the way butterflies first look when they emerge from their chrysalises.
It was such a surreal experience and it felt like we were setting free some kind of alien creature. I hope we'll get to find full-grown mantids as long as Silkworm's front legs, someday, lurking through the lawn and protecting our garden from hungry buggies.