Mantis Diary 2

The morning was sunny at first, with a slight frost. As I hung washing on the line I noticed a bunch of nymphs hanging from one of the egg cases on the pole. (See extra shot). The egg case above it had already hatched and only one nymph remained. As I watched the bunch they gradually untangled and made their escape.

The first one to go began to climb the pole. Suddenly a young flat jumping spider slid from a crack and went to meet it. I watched with bated breath as they confronted each other. The spider had some experience of the world, and it proceeded in short bursts. The mantis had no experience at all, but kept very still watching the spider. I half expected the spider to jump, but it just ran about a centimetre or two at a time. Eventually, when they were very close, the nymph dashed at the spider, which disappeared into a crack at astonishing speed. You can see them in the extra shot, which is a combination of two shots. (A close-up of an adult spider is here).

Meanwhile, the rest of the nymphs set out to explore the world. I went to Christchurch to do my shopping and couldn’t keep an eye on them. There are plenty more to hatch.

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