I have always wanted to see a Praying Mantis egg case hatch, but I had never been that fortunate. I would find them on the side of the house, or around the barn, and I'd try to be diligent and check every day but I always missed the big event. Until today... I was coming back in from the pasture, having just brought Patrick in from an hour turnout with Shylah, and when I reached for the gate latch in the corral, I realized just before I grabbed it that there were some sort of little bugs crawling all over it. Eww gross, I thought, and yanked my hand back. But then I took a close look and practically shouted with delight! Baby Mantids! Soooo cute! Mind you I am not a big fan of bugs in general, but I do have exceptions to this rule, and Praying Mantids are on the exempt list. I ran in and got my camera and took some pics. It was really hard, these little guys are about 1/4 inch long and FAST, very jumpy. Within a few hours they were all gone. I hope to see some of them all grown up!! I'm sure it's a small percentage that makes it to adulthood though. :-(
This is the egg case and a few hatchlings. It's on the underside of a gate latch on the pipe corral, I'd never even noticed it, you can't see it unless you get down underneath it:
I got one to hop up onto my hand, here it is on my pinky:
And on my pointer finger:
"Here's looking at you, kid."
What's funny is just the other night I was admiring this website and all the wonderful photos!