An Early Chinese Import

Mantid egg case photographed by Jeff Zablow

I’d seen these in my empty lots, around East 58th Street in my childhood Brooklyn. Praying Mantis egg cases, I’d learned they were. Good for that, with their fierce, fascinating Praying Mantises developing within them, preparing to exit and perform their predation, as they’d done for thousands of years.

Fast forward, and now well grown Jeff learned that this egg case is NOT formed by them. Instead it is an alien egg case, hardened foam formed by a Chinese Mantid. It’s from China. It’s ancestors did not live here three hundred years ago! Now the Chinese Mantids that emerge from this egg case surely ate the native Painted Ladies, Pearly Crescents, Gray Hairstreaks and Great Spangle Fritillary butterflies in that Raccoon Creek State Park (Southwestern Pennsylvania).

I have come to discredit alien species, especially after living next door to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s 900 acre plus Frick Park. There, as Petra and I walked, I registered that some 70% of the plants I was passing were . . . Aliens! Natives should have been there, filling 100% of the parkland.

All this with the news of the Coronavirus just about everywhere I look. I hesitate to buy products ‘Made in China.’ I just as much disdain Chinese animals, plants and products of all types.