Saturday, October 27, 2018

Life and Death in the Pines

While out and about in the yard I spotted these things. They are tiny, a couple millimeters in length (that's the grid of the window screen in the background).

At first glance they look like plant seeds of some sort, a kind that might stick to your pants as you walk through a field.

But these are on a piece of cord hung to deter birds from flying into our living room windows. Hard to see how plant seeds would get there.

So my next thought was insect eggs. Alas, I don't have an insect egg field guide. And an internet search was fruitless, although I did find this cool Atlas Obscura page (looking at those I think there could be a market for a field guide).

And a search in BugGuide for "eggs" results in this.

So I did what I always do when it comes to insects, I asked my friend Max.

I asked last night. He responded this morning. They are Katydid eggs. We have at least two species her in the yard, Oblong-winged Katydid and True Katydid. Seems all that calling paid off.

And the holes are most likely exit holes for parasitic wasps, which feed on the katydid embryos. No telling what species it might be.


Thanks to John Maxwell, as master insect savant, for identifying these (that's his hand in the linked image).

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