A computer gaming mouse surprised U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials when an X-ray revealed mantis eggs inside.
Officials in Philadelphia found mantis eggs inside the device earlier this month, the agency said in Thursday.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists in Philadelphia have seen many insects, mostly as hitchhikers stowing away on a produce shipment or burrowed into wood packaging material,” the agency said in a news release. “But finding mantis eggs inside a computer gaming mouse is a first.”
Officers X-rayed a package heading to New Hampshire on Aug. 7 that appeared to be a wireless computer gaming mouse from Spain, according to CBP. They “detected anomalies” in the mouse and discovered three brown sacks and a live insect hidden inside.
“Officers preserved the sacks and insect inside a sealed evidence bag and turned it over to CBP agriculture specialists,” the agency said. “On August 11, CBP agriculture specialists, working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspectors, determined that the sacks were mantis egg masses and the live insect was a mantis.”
The eggs hatched while in the evidence bag, officials said. They could be placed in the Academy of Natural Sciences museum in Philadelphia.
Mantis are not an endangered species, but the importation of live insects is regulated. People must have permits and meet requirements to import live insects.