What is this?

luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)February 9, 2012

Hi all, I was looking at my garden today and noticed these things on my variegated dogwood. I have no idea what they are. I suspect maybe wasps, but seriously don't know. I realize they are probably not butterflies, but I figured I'd ask here anyway as I'm sure those interested in butterflies probably pay attention to other insects in their gardens. I want to just pluck them off and throw them away if they are wasps, but would not want to remove them if they are a beneficial insect or a butterfly. Thank so much for looking. :)

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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Looks like a praying mantis egg mass to me. Good find.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 7:57PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

Yes, thank you you are right. Oh I'm so glad I wasn't hasty to get rid of them. There are two so my garden should have plenty of Praying Mantises this year. Thanks for the response. :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 6:58AM
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I concur with KC! They are beneficial, but they also prey on butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs! When the nymphs hatch, they first prey on each other, though, so that does keep the numbers in check. One egg capsule can contain up to 400 nymphs, but 100 is more likely. The capsule is called an ootheca. If you found one, there may be others in your garden. I find them frequently on my wooden trellises.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:02AM
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