Dozens of Praying Mantis Babies Crawled Out of a Woman's Christmas Tree

In Springfield, Virginia, a discarded Christmas tree birthed more than a hundred praying mantises, who quietly hatched from an egg underneath the tree's branches and crawled out of Molly Kreuze's tree in the early days in the new year.

Insect, Mantis, Mantidae, Grasshopper, Invertebrate, Macro photography, Pest, Hand, Oecanthidae, Close-up,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Truly, I thought the worst thing that could happen to Christmas's brand was that time Melania Trump wore blood-red gloves to decorate her tree (opens in new tab). I was wrong. In Springfield, Virginia, a discarded Christmas tree birthed more than a hundred praying mantises (opens in new tab), who quietly hatched from an egg underneath the tree's branches and crawled out of Molly Kreuze's tree in the early days in the new year. And where are they now, you ask? "Crawling on the walls, crawling on the ceilings," Molly explained helpfully to local station WJLA.

Here's what else I learned from this story: Praying mantises are born in droves from giant "egg cases," one of which unfortunately found itself at the bottom of Kreuze's tree. Also, the plural of praying mantis can be "praying mantes," or "praying mantises" —or "praying mantids" if you're feeling wild (opens in new tab). Also, maybe I'll get a plastic Christmas tree next year.

Anyway, here's a photo of said "egg case" at the base of Kreuze's Christmas tree:

Art,

(Image credit: WJLA)

Now, Kreuze has a kinder heart than I do, and has not hysterically mass-murdered the mantises. (She's actually a veterinarian (opens in new tab).) The mantises have made themselves quite at home, in fact. Here's a video.

Kreuze has been scooping the hordes of mantises into a giant box with the hope of giving them to someone who actually wants to live with praying mantises. "In my Googling, I discovered people really like praying mantises," she told WJLA optimistically. "I hope to find them a home."

Here's a photo of that, if you wondered:

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Oh no. Ohh no. Nonono.

Anyway, if you haven't tossed your Christmas tree yet, have fun doing that!! It's probably fine, I'm sure!!

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Jenny Hollander
Director of Content Strategy

Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books in 2024.