By Randal Coombs
In order to protect their eggs from predators, mantis mums cover their eggs with a foam that they generate.
Martin French captured the interesting moment that one of his mantises began to cover their unhatched offspring in this protective sack in one of his breeding sheds in Norfolk, UK.
The white substance distributed from the mantis envelops the eggs and is similar in texture to insulating foam.
Similarly, the foam hardens to protect the eggs with great effect until the eggs hatch six weeks later.
Martin said: “This is a polyspilotta sp of mantis from Africa laying an oothecal (eggsac).
“It lays eggs in a foam that hardens to protect the eggs, leaving a tube to the outside for the nymphs to travel down when they hatch.
“The foam is a protection against other predators which want to lay their eggs in the mantis eggs, such as Ichneumid flies.”