Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery pupa


Mystery pupa
Mystery pupa  
This has been attached to a beam outside of my office for at least a year.  It is hard to the touch and tan in color.  Can you identify it?


Hi, Christine:

Yes, I recognize the object in your image.  It is the egg case (ootheca) of a praying mantis of some kind.  You don't state where, geographically, you found it, but I suspect if it is in the U.S. or southern Canada it is probably one of the species in the genus Stagmomantis .

I can't tell if it has hatched or not, though I suspect so.  Females will lay egg cases whether they have mated or not, though, so not all ootheca are viable.

Thanks for sharing your "mystery!"


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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