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Q.

Insect identification

Zone 21014 | Ryan Twentey added on November 11, 2017 | Answered

I'm not one to seek out and destroy insects in my yard; I'm not a fan of some of them, but I understand their place in our ecosystem. Today, I was chopping wood for a fire tonight, and came across a very large (2"+), brown, cocoon/spider sack shape, spun nest on the underside of a piece of wood (doesn't appear to be smooth silk). I went to get it stuck on the fence, assuming it would peel off like a spider sack, trying not to harm it more than need be. The first slide immediately cut through it, and it fell to the ground. Left behind is a florescent green goo on the fence line and an oily green goo on the piece of wood. The sack looks like one piece on the inside, unrecognizable and mixed with a lot more green goo. What did I just find??? I used a (long) stick to carefully place the sack on the fence, so I could analyze it better. I have no idea what it is, or why that color is coming out. Any information would be greatly appreciated! I'm uploading several, as I'm not sure the clarity from my device.

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 12, 2017

Although I can't see the image very well, it looks to me like a praying mantis egg sack. Mantis are very good predator bugs that eat harmful insects. Next time you see one of these, you can let it be. These will hatch and eat pests for you.

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Ryan Twentey
Answered on November 12, 2017

@BushDoctor
Out of curiosity, I just looked up photos for Mantis egg nests, and the one I had wasn't with little individual sections for each egg - it has just one large cavity with the black creature in it, and the green goo. Do they have other kinds of nests?

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Ryan Twentey
Answered on November 12, 2017

@ BushDoctor
Thank you for your input on this! I feel horrible! I love Mantis'! My intentions really weren't to harm it, but remove it. I had no idea it would destroy so easily. From my experiences before, Mantis' were light green, not that black color. My next experience with something like this will be to leave that piece of wood alone! Thank you again for your input.

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