Ootheca

A praying mantis egg case, or ootheca, from the Greek for egg (oon) and container (theka). Thanks to Amy for spotting and IDing this for me while we were at Four Sparrow Marsh. These are collected and sold for science projects and pest control in gardens, since mantises devour whatever they can get their prayerful legs on. Up to two hundred baby mantises may be in this ootheca. These cases are formed in the fall of eggs and a foamy protein. The protein dries to protect the eggs. The young will emerge after several weeks of warm weather next year, the kind of weather that brings out their prey.

2 Responses to “Ootheca”


  1. 1 Out Walking the Dog December 17, 2011 at 10:15 am

    What a structure. I would have had no idea what that object is. Thanks for the i.d. and the info. 200 babies brewing up in there? Wow.


  1. 1 Mantids Take Brooklyn Bridge Park « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on September 28, 2012 at 7:17 am

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