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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.