Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mediterranean Introduction

Iris oratoria Egg Case

Lucky Garden Find For A Mediterranean Introduction


We have been fortunate to find mantis here and there in our garden, but have recently become very lucky to find an egg case (ootheca).

When searching for what this egg case is, many people were surprised to know that it is actually a mantis egg case as it doesn't look like the egg cases sold or commonly seen online.

This particular egg case is evidence of a mantis species commonly known as Mediterranean Mantis that has been introduced to the United States from Europe.  The initial sighting of this species occurred in California during the 1930s and has now spread throughout the warmer southern states.


Iris oratoria Egg Case
The interesting find is that the case is laid on our Mediterranean Olive tree, Bellatrix, covered in the bonsai diaries.  The egg case was discovered while making some risky cuttings to Bellatrix for imperial bonsai shaping.

Iris oratoria Open Wings
The mantis is easily identified when the wings are opened to reveal the iridescent circular spots reminiscent of the peacock feather eyes.

Lucky for us, these mantis have a habit of staying in close proximity to their birthplace most of their lives and we get to look forward to many generations (hopefully) of these mantis protecting our garden.