praying mantis nest egg has disappeared!

Asked March 12, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT

I have been watching a praying mantis nest egg on a branch of one of my viburnum bushes all fall & winter when yesterday, I noticed that it has disappeared! Gone!! Would something have eaten it? Seems unlikely that the deer would but I really don't know. The nest was about 4 feet off the ground. I was so looking forward to there being the possibility of actually observing them emerge from the nest. Do you know of any wildlife that eat teh nest eggs? Thanks

Howard County Maryland

3 Responses

We hear your disappointment.
The list of possible culprits is long, and given the harsh winter, we are not surprised that it was eaten. At four feet off the ground, deer are the most likely culprit, but other wildlife are possibilities. It's impossible to know.
Humans are a possibility as well if your viburnum is in a populated area. The good news is that it's likely you can take a walk around on the next mild day and carefully monitor for another one. Good luck.

I have found another mantis nest in a forsythia bush and only about 4 feet off the ground. Should I clip the twig and use twist ties to secure it in a higher place? I would hate to see this one get eaten, too.

Although there is no guarantee that moving the mantis egg case will prevent it being eaten by a predator, you can try. Do not bring the egg case indoors. The warmth would most likely hasten hatching and you could have numerous tiny mantids in your home. They are harmless, but they belong outdoors. Mantids are cannibalistic, so even if other predators do not eat the eggs or hatchlings, many will be eaten by other mantids.