Check out this cool video of mantises hatching out of their egg. Mantis eggs are enclosed in a hard foamy pouch called an ootheca. The nymphs wiggle out of the egg and out of the ootheca on a thin string. They immediately molt (shed their skin) for the first time. After that they look like tiny mantises. Before it molts for the first time it is called a pronymph, after the first molt they are called L1 nymphs. When the skin is off, the tiny mantis dries off and walks away!
This specific mantis species has nymphs that look a bit different than the “ordinary” mantis species like the European mantis (Mantis religiosa). But they way they hatch is very similar.
Yes, it’s spring! At least you can feel it in the north part of the Northern Hemisphere. This means the insects are showing again. Caterpillars, butterflies, ants, and even praying mantises start to show again.
If you find a caterpillar of butterfly that you would like to know the species of, please e-mail me. I’ll see what I can do. Nice pictures will be featured on the home page of this website.
Today I added the caresheet for the Atlas Moth Attacus atlas. This is one of the largest moths in the world and they are a popular butterfly to keep as a pet. The life cycle is fascinating while the keeping and caring for this species is not hard at all. The caterpillars eat many kinds of leaves and are easily kept at room temperature. And of course best of all: both the caterpillar and the moth are simply stunning! Their beautiful color and weird shapes make them look amazing.
To read more about this species, check out the caresheet HERE!
I got a question from Marianne Brouwer from the Netherlands: “I took a picture of this enormous bug in the Andes mountians in Equador. It was around 12 cm long. Do you know what it is?”
Amazonian Giant Lacewing
Amazonian Giant Lacewing
It took some research, but this monstrosity is an Amazonian Giant Lacewing. As the name suggests, it is a species in the family of lacewings (Chrysopidae), order Neuroptera. It occurs all over the Amazonian rain forest and feeds of bugs and their eggs.
Today I got an e-mail from Daryl, asking if I could identify a bug that he found in central Scotland. He thinks it could be an exotic bug, because of its bright pink appearance. Sure, I’d like to see it! So on the right of this page you find the picture. A quick search in my entomology book gives the answer to the identity of this mystery guest: This beautiful pink and yellow moth is an Elephant hawk moth (Deilephila elpenor). It is native to Europe, Britain, Ireland and it range extends all the way to India and Japan.
Thank you Daryl, for sending me the picture and allowing me to post it on this website. If anyone else has a picture of a bug they would like the name of, please send me a message via the contact form.
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