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Anybody know what this sticky white stuff is? She had a foot stuck in it; I had to help her get it loose. Was she purposely gluing herself there (perhaps in preparation for molting), or is she sick? I don't know her age; we rescued her from our screen door when hard frost was predicted. She has produced an egg case, so I assume she is full-grown at this point. (I put egg case outside. Presumably those are able to over-winter, or else the species would be extinct.)

Edit: The sticky white stuff is NOT an egg case (ootheca). There's not nearly enough of it, and it's flat not foamy. More info: Later in life this mantis laid/made several oothecas, which were large and roundish. Her egg cases were quite obviously such, to anyone familiar with insects.

Clarifying the main question, which is about praying mantis behavior: Is it normal behavior for a full-grown female praying mantis to put sticky white stuff on the inside wall of the glass aquarium where she lives, and then have her foot stuck in it?

Questions arising from hypotheses: 1) Are mantises known to purposefully glue themselves down when molting? 2) Are mantises known to spew out sticky stuff when ill or upset (perhaps as a mechanism of self-defense from large predators)? 3) Are mantises known to occasionally get themselves stuck in their own ootheca glue?

This is primarily an entomology question on insect behavior, not a "how to take care of my pet" question. Although, if entomologists don't know the answer, and some mantis pet owners do, I'd be glad to hear from the amateur naturalists.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Chris, Bez, Chris Stronks, user137, anongoodnurse Dec 9 at 0:34

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Could you post a picture? It's impossible to say without one, for all we know it was chewing gum. Are you sure the mantis put it there? I take it she lives in an aquarium? –  terdon Nov 14 '13 at 23:33
I had just cleaned the aquarium (with plain water), inside and out, only a few hours before, so it was definitely from the praying mantis (who indeed lives there). Was on inside of glass. Sorry, no photo. Description: sticky bright-white film, sort-of circular, about 1 cm diameter. –  dmm Nov 15 '13 at 5:12
Then i probably was an ootheca just different from what you expected. Unless you're a mantis expert (which I certainly am not) I doubt you'd be able to recognize all ootheca forms. –  terdon Nov 15 '13 at 14:17
More suitable for Pets SE –  Chris Stronks Dec 8 at 23:42

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