A female praying mantis on a fence post

A very pregnant female praying mantis getting ready to lay her eggs

I came across this lady hanging out on the fence out front. It’s a very pregnant praying mantis, probably scoping the fence for a good place to lay her eggs.

Praying mantis egg laying is kind of cool because first she will produce a container called an “ootheca” she attaches to a branch, fence post, etc.. Inside the casing are hundreds of little cells in which she lays her eggs.

The eggs over winter inside the casing and, if all goes well, early next spring the eggs will hatch. Praying mantis hatchlings are every bit as carnivorous as the adults. Often their first meal is one of their siblings.

Once the eggs are laid, the female usually dies around the first frost. Coincidentally, that was last night, so she probably finished just in time.

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