Observed this object today (early October) in Sabino Canyon, on the north side of Tucson AZ, in a riparian area. It's attached to a mesquite tree (Prosopis spp). It's attached to one side of the branch, it does not wrap around the branch. About 1.5 - 2 cm along the maximum dimension.

Looks like some kind of insect egg case and I'm curious if anyone can confirm and knows the insect.

mystery object


A local graduate student relayed the answer to me. It is an ootheca of a praying mantis. There is some additional background on the egg life history here. Wikipedia reports there are three mantid species. The upper-left picture of the ootheca here is essentially what I observed, so we may be looking at the genus Stagmomantis. There are some other great pics at that last site.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Bryan, self answers are great but we like answers to have some support and a bit more information than one line. If someone gave you a tip, now you could write a good answer by using that tip to find a reputable source that describes a praying mantis ootheca that looks like yours, include a cited picture, and maybe even get a guess at a particular species based on your location, if possible. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Oct 3 '19 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ I shall expand the answer in a few minutes. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Hanson Oct 3 '19 at 21:57

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