How-to Taxonomic FAIL

not a wasp nestI can’t remember who pointed this out to me, but it made me laugh. I present:  The photo of a “wasp nest” that is actually a mantis ootheca.

Ootheca is a fancy way of saying “egg case.” Both roaches and mantids create egg cases, which is one of the reasons they are sometimes grouped together.

Check out this fascinating video of a mantis creating an egg case.  (Interestingly, mantid egg cases are used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat urinary system problems. I have no idea how that connection came about.)

A mantis ootheca is not in any way like a wasp nest. The maximum size is about 1 inch in length (2.5cm).  Yellowjacket and hornet nests can get very big–this one was about 6ft by 5 foot.

That’s hardly average–the nests I tend to get on my house seem to be about a foot or so before I clue in they are there–but big enough that using this photo deserves a bit of mockery.

Mantis Fratricide?

It appears someone found the giant mantis mentioned earlier this week.If these two are related, I'm the Mona Lisa The description sounds like classic cold war stuff:

“Dilke had been miniaturized, first man in a daring experiment to solve Earth’s hideous overcrowding. He was just quarter of an inch high and there was no going back.

Now Dilke, a microagent for British Intelligence, was on a mission to South America tracking down the source of a horrifying poison gas.

And in the tropical jungle Dilke was hunted…by Mamoth-fanged wolf-spiders and the ferocious praying mantis.”

Also, why is this dude wearing ugg boots?