pls identify this ootheca(?)
March 13, 2010
I’ve been assuming/hoping this is a mantid ootheca, but it doesn’t look like any ootheca I’ve seen on the web. Is it a mantid ootheca or some less desirable creature? Found on a Japanese Maple tree in zip 43206. I want to hatch the mantids indoors to release in my garden…
Thanks! Tony
43206, Central Ohio, Urban micro climate


Hi Tony,
Theoretically, this is the cocoon of a Bagworm, a moth in the family Psychidae.  You may see additional examples and some species identifications on BugGuide.  We wrote theoretically earlier because the female Bagworm is wingless, and she only crawls out of her cocoon to mate.  After mating, she returns to the cocoon and lays her eggs, so the cocoon may become an ootheca of sorts.

Thanks Daniel!  I guess I knew it wasn’t what I wanted or I wouldn’t have asked!?  At least now I know that I really do need to order a mantid ootheca.  You guys offer a great service to us laymen!  Thanks again.

One Response to Bagworm

  1. Dave says:

    Bagworm Tea!
    While the baggy cocoons of Psychidae are not considered edible, I’ve read of several accounts tea made from the bags, from Mexico and Madagascar [where the larvae are consumed as well]. Beyond this, there’s documentation of the use of the cocoons as spiritual fetishes from The Congo.


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