Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mantis Madness

This happened at my house today: Hatching (Warning, you may get the heeby jeebies and feel itchy all over!!)

About 3 weeks ago (over Spring break, however long ago that was), Grandma H. gave Sebastian a cocoon-looking thing to take home with him. She found it in her lilac bush, and put it in a container for observing bugs. For a few weeks now it has been sitting on our freezer in the garage. A few days ago, I even said to Lucas, "I think whatever is in the cocoon has died. Don't you think something would have happened by now?" He didn't want to crush Sebastian's hopes, so he told me, "Just wait. If it hasn't hatched by Christmas, we'll call it dead." (He's so funny!)

Today, Meagan and I had to make a grocery trip. We left around 10:45 this morning. I have gotten in the habit of examining the cocoon - or at least taking a peek - every time I walk by, and this morning was no different. As of 10:45, no notable activity.

We got home around 1:15 (yes, a 2 1/2 hour trip to Meijer... unfortunately, NOT uncommon). The first thing I noticed as I got out of the van was a MAJOR change in the bug jar. Instead of a still, lifeless brown blob, there was a yellow squirming mass of something. I went over to take a closer look, and quite frankly, was quite grossed out! There were easily 2 hundred little yellowish-whitish, semi-transparent squirmy things.... they looked a lot like maggots with legs and beady eyes. GROSS. (Even Meagan thought so... her exact words: "Okay, THAT is NASTY.") I looked closer - somewhat fascinated, despite being grossed out - and I noticed they looked a lot like the shape of a praying mantis... only yellow and very tiny.

I made a few phone calls to see if anyone I know new whether praying mantises come out of cocoons. Then, I took to the internet. Yep. Definitely praying mantises.

Apparently, they change rather rapidly, because at 5:30 when we got back from gymnastics, they had already taken on a green tint, and were no longer transparent at all. Not sure they have nearly enough food in there to last for long, so we'll have to decide quickly what to do with them. I can't say I'm feeling too eager about opening up the lid at the moment... I have a new-found fear of them crawling all over me... I keep feeling little tickles and creepy crawliness on my skin... yes, I'm that mental. *LOL* But it was worth it because Sebastian's response was priceless! He thought it was just the greatest thing EVER! Boys! :)


Anonymous said...

That is disgusting AND fascinating.


Rebecca H. said...

yes, i couldn't agree more. i was totally creeped out, yet kept going back to take another look.