PRAYING MANTIDS (Tenodera sinensis)
Life Cycle: Praying Mantids hatch out of their egg case (ootheca) along the seam that looks like louvered windows with some mud packed on top. They hatch in the spring when the weather warms, the warmer the temperature, the sooner they hatch. Unlike most insects the mantids do not hatch as larvae, they emerge as miniature adults, about half an inch long. They will grow through spring and summer until they reach a length of 5 to 6 inches, shedding their skins several times.
Although mantids have wings, they do not use them until fall when the female wings develop and she begins flying around looking for males to mate with. After mating, she eats the head off the male, which helps to nourish her eggs. She then attaches the brown foam to a branch, lays her eggs inside, and dies shortly afterward, The eggs are protected from the winter cold in the foam and the cycle begins again in the spring.