Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor


It was a breezy day in the garden as my husband and I were trying to decide where to locate some plant shelves.  “Hey, what's that fluff hanging from the tomato cage?” asked my husband.  I came over to look.  The familiarootheca, or egg case, of the praying mantis was firmly attached to the top wire of the tomato cage.  But there was definitely something below it, moving in the breeze.

Praying Mantis Curtain. photos by Karen Metz

As we got closer, we saw numerous nymphs clambering over each other as they came out of the egg case.  They would hold tight when a gust of wind hit, forming a little nymph curtain.  As soon as they could, though, they crawled along the wires of the tomato cage.  They spread out quickly and soon only one or two stragglers could be found.

Praying Mantis nymph closeup.

About a half hour later, I looked again. I only found a spider crawling along the tomato cage.  I wondered if he had caught any of the praying mantis nymphs for his lunch.  I hoped he hadn't gotten there in time.

According to the Natural Enemies Gallery in the UCIPM website, mantids lay their eggs in the fall. Adults do not survive the winter but the egg cases do.  The nymphs emerge in spring and the life cycle continues.

One little nymph.
One little nymph.

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 3:40 PM


WOW! Amazing that you were able to capture this Karen! I have a Mantis egg case on one of my trees and hope to see something this amazing!

Posted by Paula Pashby on May 10, 2022 at 2:05 PM

Oh, Karen! What a rare treat for you to have seen those little guys emerging! I just love seeing the pictures, too. Thanks, ??  

Posted by Marian Chmieleski on May 15, 2022 at 8:59 AM

Though I have seen the baby mantis in my garden many times, I have never gotten to see this. Thanks, so for sharing!

Posted by Melissa Sandoval on May 16, 2022 at 3:46 PM

Thanks everyone. It was very special to see it happening and I just wanted to share.

Posted by Karen Metz on May 17, 2022 at 4:13 PM

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