Last autumn I noticed that one of the few praying mantis egg cases was attached to a slippery surface. When it disappeared I searched the ground underneath and there it was. I stuck it to a chip of wood with double-sided sticky tape and put it in a small terrarium. Three days ago I set it up in the greenhouse. This morning it hatched!

I don’t know how many nymphs came out because they had left before I discovered it. I saw 6 or 7. One had its leg trapped in the ootheca. (See bottom row). I used a strong magnifier and a sewing needle to free it. However, I was unable to remove a scrap of “tassel” that comes out with the nymphs. The nymph was about 6mm long and the leg was as thick as a fine hair. It had trouble dragging its hampered foot over the rough wood, but on a smooth surface it made off.

Another fell into the watering can and was in the water. I fished it out and put it on a grape leaf, where it quickly revived.

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