Saturday, March 19, 2016

What Is This, Pray Tell?

I found this beauty a couple of weeks ago while removing last season's dead growth from the aromatic aster (Symphoytrichum oblongifolium). I thought at first it must be a caterpillar cocoon, but now I'm thinking it might be a praying mantis egg case!

Even more excitingly, I think it's an egg case from one of our native North American praying mantis species. That's good news, because apparently there are also exotic, invasive praying mantis species that may have detrimental effects on local ecosystems.