Hatching Mantids

Posted May 10, 2010
Last Updated Nov 12, 2011
Tiny Mantis
Baby Mantises on Egg Sack
Jumble of Mantids
Mantis Cluster
Baby mantis Hanging
Mantids on Leaf
Hatching Mantis
Mantid Egg Sack Debris

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.


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Dave Y

Jun 9, 2011

Hi Shawn,

I have a praying mantis egg sack that I bought from a local greehouse. The ootheca (sp?) is in a shaded area above the ground and it has been for about a month. The temps in the area have been around 70+ for the past 3 - 4 weeks and they have not hatched.

Any ideas?



Shawn Olson

Jun 9, 2011

I haven't really found an exact set of parameters for the eggs to hatch. From what I understand, prime conditions are 70+ degrees and relatively high humidity (40%+).

I have several egg sacks that have already hatched here in Mid-May in Central Ohio. But there are also several egg cases that haven't hatched on my land. In fact, my father just called with your same question the other day because a case I sent home with him hasn't hatched.

Mostly it's just a waiting game.  

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