|4th of July Field Observation (Part II)
The stray of thin and straw-like grasses made a great camouflage for those T. graminis to hide around the surface of condenser
unit. It was great to see this species making a comeback on the field. So in less than 40 minutes, both Kenneth and I found three
species of mantis, with B. borealis being the most abundant. Although all three species live on the same field, their habitat
preference is slightly different from where the species was found. Obviously, the oothecae of all three species have survived from
the record cold winter early this year, and appeared to do well despite the drought.
After lunch, we went to Bear Creek Park to check on the mantis. One of the reasons I am going to this park was to collect some food
plants for my Atta texana colony, besides checking out the mantis population in the park and other ant activities too. I have seen
both seen S. carolina and T. graminis ootheca in the oothecae last year, so it would be interesting to know if they do well this year in
the park. As usually, I would check the bottom of tree trunk for T. graminis and leafy plants for sign of Carolina mantis. However, I
have only see T. graminis this time. All of them were found on the tree trunk.
However, I was surprised to see an adult female T. graminis, so this specimen must have grown extremely fast in the wild to
achieve adult stage. Assuming it hatched in early April. Her abdomen was rather thin, so I am not sure if she was mated before. On
the same tree trunk I found that female, there were another 4 nymphs spotted as well. The T. graminis found in Bear creek park
appear to be at least one or more instar ahead of the similar species found in New Caney field.
Kenneth also netted an assassin bug! I fed the assassin a unlucky fly…….
Overall, it looks like the harsh winter and drought has little effect on mantis population. I am keeping some of the mantids collected
from the field and will definitely returning to both places again in September, when adult mantis should be spotted by then.