A week old Mantis Nymph
Laura Carter brings us her last update on the baby boom at World Museum, here she tells us about the mantids in the Bug house:
In the Bug house, our female Praying Mantis egg cases, called Oothecas, have hatched and we have several hundred ant-sized “nymphs”.
The one shown here is about a week old, and they are currently feeding on fruit flies… along with some of their smallest brothers and sisters!
Many of these invertebrates have a large number of young as insurance that at least some of them will survive to be adults. In the case of the mantids and spiders, the offspring are often so small that there are few insect prey small enough for them to eat, so the later hatching eggs are a sort of gruesome living larder to feed their slightly older siblings. Only the biggest and fastest will survive!
The mantid Oothecas along with some of the nymphs will be visible for a short time on the roof of our hermit crab display."