Subject: What is responsible for this?
Location: Canberra, Australia
March 10, 2016 2:40 am
This is probably an incredibly easy question as I myself have seen many of these before, but I have a conundrum. This appeared on an essential item of clothing (my husband’s undies) hung out to dry and I am loath to injure whatever creature may be in it by scraping it off. I realised that despite seeing these things a lot I have no idea what makes them, and trying to dentify things via the Internet when you don’t have the actual creature appears near impossible! Are you able to tell me what it is? Thanks very much for your time!
This is the Ootheca or Egg Case of a Preying Mantis, and we are not familiar enough with Australian species to provide you with an exact identification, however, if you see Mantids in your yard and garden, and you submit an image of one of them, we will attempt a species identification. Here is a very similar looking Ootheca of a Garden Mantis from Oz Animals. The Ootheca is formed of a frothy substance produced by the female to help protect the eggs inside. When conditions are right, you can expect several hundred hatchlings to emerge. In our opinion, you should hang your husband’s undies with the attached ootheca in a protected place in the garden, preferably on a low shrub, and let nature take its course. As our editorial staff will be away for a few days, we have postdated your submission to go live over the weekend while we are away.
Thank you very much! I did not expect such a quick reply and I really appreciate it! I will most certainly be doing what you say, and my husband is willing to sacrifice his undies to give the little mantids the best chance at life.
Because of your kindness and because of the tremendous sacrifice your husband is making, we are awarding you as a couple the Bug Humanitarian tag on this posting, though you still have to wait until March 13 to see your posting live.