This is the egg case from a praying mantis. Before winter, females mate and deposit their eggs on the undersides of leaves, or more often, on the stalks of golden rod or other meadow plants. The styrofoam-like substance surrounding the eggs, helps camouflage and protect them from birds and other predators. In the spring when the temperatures are consistently warm, the eggs will hatch out into tiny mantids–from 100-200 of them! These tiny creatures, like their adult parents, are fierce predators from day one.
Do praying mantids have ears? Do the females eat their mates? Are they endangered? Find out these answers and more as I feature the praying mantis this week in my weekly creature feature, published on Mondays.