Friday, September 07, 2007

I Bet This Won't Surprise You

A week ago I posted about the various critters we've had invading, I mean visiting, our house. One of those critters is a praying mantis the kids have named Ring. I mentioned Joshua is keeping Ring well fed (which is why we thought the bug was so fat) and I also referred to this particular bug as he. Well, well, well...
This morning Joshua called me excitedly and said, "Look what Ring made last night!" I went out and saw something that looked like a mini-wheat sitting on top of the cage. Although there was a box of Mini-Wheats on the breakfast table, I knew Joshua wasn't tricking me with cereal. Ring is a she, and she was fat because she had a bunch of eggs just waiting to be laid! Yep, that was an egg sac she made last night and now we have a slender bug. (I should have known it wasn't a male. Haven't all the males mated and been eaten by this time in the season?)

I got on the Internet to learn what I could about praying mantis egg sacs while the kids were in school today. I learned females lay their eggs in the fall (in sacs containing between 20-100 eggs!) and they hatch in the spring. I also learned that some people actually buy these eggs to put in their gardens because the adult praying mantis will eat pests. One site said, "Due to high demand praying mantis egg sacs are unavailable until 2008." Aren't we the lucky ones? We got an egg sac for free!
So the plan is, we're going to put the egg sac in a box in the garage for the winter and will put it among the flowers in the spring so the eggs can hatch and eat the pesty bugs around our yard. (I wonder if they'll eat the off-spring from one of the two bees that stung me the other day. That would make me happy!)
I think I might be as excited about this egg sac as the kids are. It really is amazing to think this thing was produced by a bug over night. And I'm glad for the "science lesson" God has just dropped in our laps. So long as we get them outside next spring before they hatch and take over the garage!

Once again, I live in a zoo.



kreed said...

Ooooooh! I am so jealous - I tried to order an egg sac a while ago and couldn't get one (we hatched butterflies and ladybugs last year, so i was looking for something new!). Now you can have baby Rings keeping your yard and garden pest free next year - too cool!

Your "10 Things I learned from Grandma" idea inspired me...I think I will try to have everyone at the party write some kind of note to include in the book. Unfortunately Grandmother's short term memory is completely gone, but I am hoping that if I include pictures of the party with the notes it will at least be a reminder for her.

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

i'm living vicariously through you

Coach J said...

Isn't this just the greatest development? I hope the little babies make it!

Ang baylis said...

Oh my goodness! I've never heard of such a thing! Like my Dad used to say, you learn something new everyday!

Seriously, over night?!

Have a good day!
Angie xoxo

LoveMyStarr said...

How neat is that!

Janet said...

Oh how fun!!! You will enjoy watching the developing babies. We did this once too at my house, and the little babies are the MOST.PRECIOUS things....if bugs can be precious. The are like tiny little versions of the parents when they come larval stage or anything. HAVE FUN! Oh, and in some cultures, the Praying Mantis is supposed to bring blessings and good fortune...Enjoyed your blog....God Bless!!