Thursday, March 19, 2009

BAD BUG GOOD BUG

When I saw these today I thought I knew exactly what they were and a quick search on google confirmed my thinking. Eggs of the stink bug. The reason I knew what they were. They are similar in shape to the eggs of the harlequin bug although not quite so pretty.  If I have a handle on the harlequins this year apparently I don't on the stink bugs. I have killed so many recently, and today, as we ate our lunch in the front bluebonnet patch, we noticed the stinkers at work among the bluebonnets. Then I spotted the eggs. They weren't very smart laying them on the upper surface of the leaf. At least that is one batch that won't be hatching.

This egg case is a completely different story. Placed 8' up on the wood above our patio this is a praying mantis egg case. I like these guys because they feed on crickets, grasshoppers and flies. They also have cannibalistic habits. Hundreds of miniature mantids emerge from the egg case and it is not unusual for the first one out to be eaten by the next one. It doesn't start there either. The female has been known to eat the male during or after the mating process. I guess that will depend on how well he performs!  Years ago when I found one of these on a plant I thought "this doesn't look good" but I soon learnt to welcome sight of the egg cases. I did once have one, cemented to my lemon tree, start hatching in the house and I had tens of these tiny mantids running around. I tried to rescue them with a piece of paper but some of them were caught in spiders webs. 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the info. I have seen these eggs in the garden and wondered what they were. I've seen those egg cases too! Fasinating!

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  2. Thanks for identifying these various eggs. I'm always glad to have more information on which are the ones I should protect and which are the ones I should squash.

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  3. Very useful info! Those horrid stink bugs ruined my peaches last year.

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  4. Barb- I'm afraid it is to be a bad year for stinkers. Last year the leaf footed bugs ruined my tomatoes. Wonder when they will start showing up?

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  5. Well I sure learned something today...I never new those were Praying Mantis eggs. I've always wondered what they were.
    Thanks for the info!
    Tracy

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  6. This post should be filed under Gardening Service Announcements - thanks, Jenny - will keep an eye out for the stinkbug eggs.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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