A recent winter walk revealed several mantis pods (ootheca) in Tall Pines State Preserve. I’ve never seen a pod as secure as this one atop a tall meadow tree. I don’t think a mouse, squirrel or bird would be able to hold on long enough to ravage the pod for food.
In past years, winter would find me actively searching out mantis pods to place in my garden as free insect control. I’ve stopped the hunt after reading several articles about praying mantids capturing small birds. Now an inner dilemma will arise when I spy a mantis in my gardens. Do I leave the predator or carry it off into the woods and away from the hummingbird/butterfly plants I grow in my garden? I know the choice I will make now and in the future…I will carry them away. The hummingbirds and butterflies will have my protection. It’s funny how your perspective changes when you find out more facts than you wanted to know.
Mantis pods also fall victim to predatory creatures. This pod was probably eaten by a hungry mouse or bird.
Today’s post is part of Jo’s Monday Walk.