|4th of July Field Observation (Part I)
I have not really putting an effort to collecting mantis
in the wild this year because most mantids should
still be in nymph stage right now. But I was
wondering how the harsh winter last year (record low
in Jan and Feb) and prolonged drought (another
record) this Spring and early Summer has been
affecting the mantis population in the wild.
So I have decided to check couple of locations, namely the Bear Creek Park in Houston and a field in a
town name New Caney, north of Houston recently to observe the population growth.
My son Kenneth decided to help me out for this trip. We first arrived at New Caney in the morning at 11:20
AM. The field appeared to be not as green as last year. Obviously the drought has kept the vegetation low
and less dense than before. Luckily, the field still beaming with insects which should be able to sustain
mantis population here.
We starting to sweep the low grass for any sign of mantis, and it didn’t take very long for us to realize that
the field is full of Brunneria borealis nymphs.
All the B. borealis nymphs were around 4th instar, with the exception on two quick developed specimens which were probably just
a molt or two away. Almost every time we swang the net there was at least a B. borealis nymph was caught. I moved in to check on
some leafy plants spotted few Stagmomantis carolina nymphs too, probably in the 4th instar as well.
The field in New Caney is located next to a commercial building, and I have found plenty of Thesprotia graminis on the outdoor air
conditioning unit. Although I couldn’t find any last year, I was surprise to find about 6 nymphs by just checking out the condenser