My first insect shoot in a while was in my own back yard. Several large mantises laid their eggs on the bushes along my back deck last fall. We just happened to notice them hatching from one of the many egg sacks this evening. Unfortunately, the lighting was poor since it was late in the evening and an approaching storm cloud darkened the sky; but with Jenny and Virginia holding my flashes, I was able to get a few interesting shots of all these baby praying mantises. This was the first time I had really witnessed mantids hatching en masse. A couple weeks ago I caught the tail end of another hatching event.
In the event photographed here, there were many dozens of baby mantises that had already hatched when I arrived. I witnessed around five arise from the egg sack. The wind kept me from capturing those moments clearly on film.