What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear WTB,
Early in the week we tore down our arbor and fence and discovered this cocoon attached to a fence post behind the foliage. We live near Modesto, CA in the central valley. We have been unable to identify what will come out of this cocoon once the insect immerges – can you help? It is approx. 1 inch long and has scales like a snake. The exterior is very "tough". It has maroon striped markings on each side with a cream color filling out the remaining exterior. My photos are a bit fuzzy – couldn’t get my digital to focus for a closer shot. Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated! My children and I are perplexed.
Thank you,
Sheri McNeilly

Hi Sheri,
I would like to do more research before giving you a definite answer, but it looks more like an egg case than a cocoon. It might be a preying mantis egg case known as an Ootheca. I will get back to you.

Thank you – as you can see, I’m not up on bug terminology. A mantis would be wonderful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

One Response to Mantid Egg Case or Ootheca

  1. MelPhleg says:

    yes, that definitely looks like a praying mantis egg case.
    i’ve collected such egg cases & raised mantids for a little while a number yrs ago.
    find cases wherein the the “scales” haven’t opened yet, & you’re more likely bound to get unhatched young.
    they are fun & easy to raise. however, if the new young are left in close quarters (like a glass aquarium case), they will eat each other, so best if let them go & only keep one or two at once, in separate cases, or they might each each other.
    and it is true, the female will eat the male after mating, if kept together in close quarters & if he doesn’t get away first.

    i’m sure there are some good books at a local public library on raising mantids as pets.

    looks like a good one: “The praying mantids” / edited by Frederick R. Prete

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