Mystery Thing from Australia: Mantis Ootheca?

Subject: aussietrev strange egg sac?
Location: Queensland, Australia
February 3, 2014 9:21 pm
Here is the strange object I found on the back of a cucumber leaf in my yard. I assume it is an egg sac, and it has the extruded foam sort of texture of a mantis but it doesn’t look like any that I have ever seen before. Any ideas guys?
Signature: aussietrev

Mantis Ootheca or other???
Mantis Ootheca or other???

Hi Trevor,
Our first thought, prior to reading what you wrote, was that this mystery object looks like extruded foam and that led us to contemplating the possibility that this might be some odd Mantis Ootheca, so we are in agreement with what it seems most like.  It also appears that whatever this mystery object might have held has gone, possibly by hatching.  How large was it?  Alas, all the images on The Insect Store mantis ootheca identification guide do not appear to be showing at this time.  We also just realized that for years we have been spelling the word Ootheca with an “i” and we will need to contact our webmaster to see if he can do a site fix on that error.  Another possibility is that this might be a Cockroach ootheca.  Hopefully, we will soon find an answer.

Hi Daniel,
The thing is about an inch overall. It has similarities to a bark mantis Ootheca but the pictures on Brisbane Insects are of still closed one making it a bit harder to compare. They also appear to be flat against the trunks where as this one has a crescent moon type shape. Given the number of suitable trees nearby I would think it unlikely that a bark mantis would suddenly change to greenery and lose the camouflage advantage for its young though.

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