Well, Nature took its course and our green female mantis has laid her eggs, 19 days after mating!!!
: (<---- pretend it's just an excited & weird-looking mantid and not dancing broccoli!)
She had been getting fatter and fatter. We weren't sure whether she was developing eggs or just filling-out from eating the moths and crickets we caught and fed her with each day!
(Things you never think you'll do: catching moths, by flashlight, outside, at night, to feed a hopefully-pregnant praying mantis and a huge black widow spider, while your child takes his bath inside!!)
The eggs come out in a frothy "foam" from the rear end of her abdomen. She slowly moves her bottom in a circular/spiral movement while the eggs are being released and this foam then hardens into the tan-coloured protective case. It took about an hour for her to finish.
Anyway, we also captured another praying mantis a few days ago and she laid eggs yesterday on a branch in her habitat container.
Both Moms are still alive and eating the crickets and moths we give them. Both also will drink water from an eye dropper that we give them several times a day + we sprinkle water on the foliage we have placed in their habitats. Our research says they die after laying their eggs They look pretty chipper to us and are still eating well, so who knows. If they continue to live, we will keep them inside, in new habitats (the egg habitats will remain outside all Winter), and feed them purchased crickets.
So, we now had two egg cases to watch next Spring! Hundreds of baby mantids to release in our yard and garden. Cool!