Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses Page: 24
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24 TEXAS NATURE OBSERVATIONS AND REMINISCENCES.
ges of development, and some of
A number of these tiny, long
legged insects and the ova in va-
rious developmental stages, were
mounted on a glass slide and pho-
toreproduced. The engraving of
same herein shows the small in-
sects plainly, enlarged about one-
third time original size.
During outings, later on, several
of such peculiar breeding nests of
the devilshorse were encountered
along the river banks and hilly
regions south of San Antonio, on
Fig.1. Nest cut in two, showing cell apartments.
Fig. 2. Nest intact.
various trees and shrubbery, with
preference on the mesquite tree
and a small leafed acacia brush,
loaded with scarlet red and glob-
ular blossoms. A small branch of
this latter brush containing one
such mantis nest was removed,
and the photo of same herein
shows the peculiar "caterpillar-
like " shape of this nest, showing
the inside appearance and some of
the nmany 'cl apartments in
which the old insect had deposited
its eggs. ' These nests are about
one to two inches in length and
worm-like shape: and its oval
shaped body is ribbed and of ex-
ceedingly compact structure-the
old insect using some kind of a
gum, perhaps mesquite gum, or
perhaps it manufactures a gum of
its own, to build its nest, and
glues it on the branches or the
trunk of a tree. The tubular cell
apartments of whliich this breed-
ing nest is composed and which,
when finished, is as hard as rock,
reminds one of the cell arrange-
ments of the wasp nest and some
other insects and tlhe ova develop
on about the same principle as the
wasps and bees, etc.
The full grown devilshlorse, of
which an original picftlre from
nature is appended herein, is
nearly too well known generally
to go into details herein aotil
it. There exist various types of
these mantis insects, and some of
them attain enormous proportions
and they all are of a rei pugiient
and fearful looking natlure-- how-
ever, they are entirely harmless.
They are remarkable for their
slender grotesque form. One spe-
cies has a pair of legs in front re-
sembling a person's hands when
folded in prayer and is often
called the praying mantis.
In writing one evening years
ago, attracted by the bright elec-
tric light, one of these long leg-
ged insects suddenly appeared
near my writing paper, and a
queer aspect it was to see the
insect standing erect on its hind
legs, and twisting its large bulg-
ing and glossy eye ~lobes from
one side to the other-watching
the movements of my hand in
writing. Sone timi iperslons iat-
urally get very excited, in necoun-
tering a devilshorse insect, but
these insects possess no weapons
of inoculation, and they only scare
a person by reason of their pe-
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Menger, R. Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses, book, 1913; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143558/m1/28/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.