Tag Archives: Ants

Praying mantis egg sacs

A praying mantis egg sac on a branch
A praying mantis egg sac on a branch
A praying mantis egg sac on a tree trunk

When I’m out walking, I rarely see praying mantis egg sacs. They’re no more than an inch long and they can blend in with the trees and branches where they tend to be found. However, on a recent walk on the coast, I saw these three sacs in the space of 20 minutes, the top two on branches and the third on a tree trunk.

I’m not sure why they caught my eye, though this is the time of year when they’re typically seen. Perhaps it was because I was watching for butterflies and dragonflies, so was paying a bit more attention to details than usual.

Each sac can contain up to 300 eggs. The eggs are encased in foam, called ootheca, which hardens into the sacs seen here. The sac in the middle photo was crawling with ants, which I suspect is not good news for the would-be mantises inside.

Ant farm

The happy domestic scene in the top photo is posted for Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge. See more responses here.

I noticed this gathering yesterday afternoon and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. Usually when ants find something to eat, they head back to the nest to spread the good news and in short order a line of ants is traveling back and forth to harvest their bounty. But these ants just seemed to be milling about in this area. There appears to be a blob of something that is their focus, but what it is I don’t know, though the second shot gives a bit better view.

Likely, it will be one of those situations where, when the morning rolls around, the ants have disappeared leaving no trace. If not, and they’re still there, well that’s slightly worrying.

Teamwork

Ants and a spider

I noticed this spider moving across a dirt road in a most peculiar way. A closer look showed the reason why. This group of ants was taking it home, but not in a warm and fuzzy kind of way.

The ants were moving at a pretty good speed, which was impressive considering there were several of them involved and all pointing in different directions. After a few moments, they scuttled over the side of a rock and out of sight.

The victim looks like some kind of jumping spider.