Hundreds of praying mantids could emerge from their eggs this spring in Northeast Ohio

Hundreds of praying mantids could emerge from their eggs this spring in Northeast Ohio
(Source: Facebook/Cleveland Metroparks)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Each spring, swarms of wingless nymphs emerge from their egg cases throughout Northeast Ohio, eventually morphing into mantids.

The egg cases, known as ootheca, may contain up to 400 mantid eggs, according to Cleveland Metroparks. The term mantid refers to the entire "mantis" group, including the praying mantids.

The immature nymphs begin to hatch from the eggs in the warmer spring weather. The mantids then undergo a gradual metamorphosis to their final adult stage, usually by mid-summer to fall.

There are three different mantid species that are common in Ohio:

  • Carolina Mantid - The native species is the smallest of the three.
  • European Mantid - An introduced species.
  • Chinese Mantid - The introduced species if the largest of the three.

(Chart courtesy of Ohio State University)

Mantids are predators known for their forelegs that are designed for grabbing and holding their prey. They usually prey on moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other mantids.

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