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Praying mantis egg pod



Mantis eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the female's abdomen. This froth then hardens, creating a protective capsule with a further protective coat, and the egg mass is called an ootheca. Depending on the species these can be attached to a flat surface, wrapped around a plant or even deposited in the ground. Despite the versatility and durability of the eggs, they are often preyed on, especially by several species of parasitic wasps. In a few species, the mother guards the eggs. As in related insect groups, mantises go through three stages of metamorphosis: egg, nymph, and adult (mantises are among the hemimetabolic insects). The nymph and adult insect are structurally quite similar, except that the nymph is smaller and has no wings or functional genitalia. The nymphs are also sometimes colored differently from the adult, and the early stages are often mimics of ants. A mantis nymph increases in size (often changing its diet as it does so) by replacing its outer body covering with a sturdy, flexible exoskeleton and molting when needed. This can happen from five to ten times, depending on the species. After the final molt most species have wings, though some species are wingless or brachypterous ("short-winged"), particularly in the female sex.


Another mantis egg pod in our garden!

No species ID suggestions


KarenL 6 years ago

Hopefully they will emerge while I am around - I miscalculated with my last experiment (a black swallowtail chrysalis) & came home after a weekend away to find my 2 cats racing around all my kitchen countertops chasing a butterfly!
I've also just brought a polyphemus moth cocoon indoors as it had fallen from the tree it was on so again hopefully I will get to see the moth when it emerges in the spring!

Cool, I am so excited, but that would make it February here and we will probably be under snow.......your so brave to bring it indoors.......Don't think that will happen here!!! ;0S It will be interesting to watch though. :)

KarenL 6 years ago

Thanks Carol!
Sunflower Heaven, apparently they take about 5 months & the nymphs emerge over a period of a few days. This is an empty case but I do have 2 fresh ones - one is on a heavy outdoor planter but the other is on a shrub so I am planning to cut off the small branch it is on & bring it indoors in the spring & hopefully get to see the nymphs as they emerge!

That's awesome Karen, I have a picture of one in my garden. I watched the Praying Mantis do this amazing thing this summer. It happened around mid Sept, when do they hatch or how long does it take??.....My 5yr old checks it every time we pass by it. :)

CarolSnowMilne 6 years ago

that is amazing!

alicelongmartin 6 years ago

Good idea Karen, then you can show us the babies!

KarenL 6 years ago

Thanks Ava! This one is empty I think, judging from the holes in the back, but I have found a fresh case & I'm thinking about bringing it indoors in the spring so I can see the nymphs emerge!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 6 years ago

You're so lucky! I'd love to find one of these in my garden.

Tennessee, USA

Lat: 35.90, Long: -86.96

Spotted on Nov 26, 2011
Submitted on Nov 26, 2011


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Mantis ootheca Ootheca (egg case) Ootheca (Egg case) Praying Mantis eggcase

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