By cabbagetree

Beyond Babyhood

This is the first praying mantis nymph that has made it past the first instar that I have seen this season. It has lost its dark back stripe and is 2cm long. Now it is big enough to catch small flies. Very few nymphs make it to this stage. Sadly, most of them die of starvation because they can’t catch themselves a meal. Their strategy is to sit patiently, waiting for something to come along. If they don’t catch something in the first 4 or 5 days they die.

Of the batch that hatched in the greenhouse five days ago I can find only one alive, and it has gone outside the door. I have found two bodies. One had been sucked dry by a predator and the other was wasted away. I try not to get too involved with them at this stage because it can be heartbreaking.

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