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Ootheca of a Praying Mantis



An ootheca is a type of egg mass made by any member of a variety of species (usually insects or mollusks).An ootheca usually contains many eggs surrounded by a foam of protein which may then harden into a tough casing for protection. Notable ootheca-making insects are the mantis and cockroach.


The female lays between 10 and 400 eggs, depending on the species. Eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the 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.

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AnjaliAnantharam 10 years ago

Not very sure Emma.. The photo is not very clear.. Normally, once the mantis builds this the casing turns brown in color into a hard case..

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 10 years ago
Anjali in this spotting picture number two shows the picture of something left behind by a praying mantis . It is less than 1 cm long. Is this an ootheca?

AnjaliAnantharam 10 years ago

@ Karen : How nice you can now monitor diff stages..Lucky u !, @ Atul, ThePineappleman... Thank you..

ThePinappleMan 10 years ago

wow really cool

Atul 10 years ago

cool !!!

Atul 10 years ago

cool !!!

KarenL 10 years ago

I have found a few of these in my Tennessee garden too!

AnjaliAnantharam 10 years ago

Thanks, Satyen ...

Wild Things
Wild Things 10 years ago

Lovely spotting and great info Anjali. Thanks for sharing.

Spotted by

Karnataka, India

Spotted on Dec 26, 2010
Submitted on Nov 26, 2011

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

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