Mar 10, 2010

Interesting Reproductive Techniques

What is that you're looking at? The abdomen of a female Mediterranean mantis (Iris oratoria) and the egg sac she is producing. That egg sac most likely contains 100-200 eggs, and when they hatch, the local insect world will need to run for cover.

Photo source: Stavros Markopoulos

Two reproductive techniques allow this particular species to expand, despite sharing territory with other mantid species. 1) They are capable of parthenogenesis (Greek for "virgin creation") which allows the females to grow offspring from unfertilized eggs, and 2) a second round of mantis nymphs can hatch from the same egg sac, but in the next season, effectively staggering the mantis generations. This produces new nymphs when their older siblings are already grown and have their own offspring.

That must make for interesting family reunions.


Sabina E. said...

the eggs are glittery... and shiny... and sparkly

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Alien's egg sac. Anyone recall the part in the movie?

Raging Wombat said...

Recall? How can I forget?

gia said...

why do I make the mistake of clicking on your site while I eat lunch ?

Raging Wombat said...

Gia, I think the same thing to myself everytime I post during lunch. Why did I do that?