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This praying mantis has been a regular in our yard for the last few weeks.

praying mantis

praying mantis egg case

It might have hatched out of an egg case like this one.

Here's a short video of a praying mantis hatching. As you can see, newly-hatched praying mantids look like miniature adults.

Edit:

Just found a cool new book recommended by the NSTA.

Praying Mantises: Hungry Insect Heroes (Insect World)
by Sandra Markle

So, mantises is the correct plural now? I had learned it as mantids...

The bug of the week last week was..drum roll...

A flower fly!

I bet some of you were thinking that it was a honey bee. The flower fly has two wings rather than four. Although you might mot be able to see that the honeybee has four, the fly holds it's wings out away from it's body more. The flies have bigger eyes. The antennae of the flower fly come from the middle of the face and are shorter than that of the honey bee. Once you know to look there are a lot of differences.

Flower flies fool people all the time.

See if you can spot the differences:

Honey Bee versus Flower Fly

honey bee

flowerfly