Welcome! Log In Create A New Account


Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs

Posted by David Maxwell 
Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
March 16, 2013 05:16PM
I have a number of light brown oval "things" which look like egg cases (or pupal chambers), firmly stuck to small terminals on my apple trees. The question is whether I need to assiduously remove them before they hatch, or rather encourage them. (Do they contain a good bug or a bad one?) I haven't been able to find anything which even vaguely resembles them in any of my illustrated "bug books".

Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
March 16, 2013 08:28PM
I have now not only dissected the creatures out, but actually managed to photograph the pupa contained within. They are not egg cases; they are pupal chambers. This still hasn't got me that much farther ahead - do I need to go around and pry them off everywhere and destroy them? Or are they something desirable, (like braconid wasps or dragonflies)?

Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
March 16, 2013 09:27PM
Hi David,

Definitely not Dragonflies. You took some nice photos, if no one here recognizes them, you might want to talk with your closest University Ag Extension office. They often have great staff in place to call out many of the common insects (in various live stages) we are apt to see in our orchards.

Good luck,


Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
March 17, 2013 12:33AM
One thing you have in the States which we have lost in Canada is Land Grant Universities and state ag reps. Now, in NS ordinary folk like me are not permitted to aproach the staff in the Ag Research Stn., (although bona fide commercial growers do still have access.) I do think, however, that I very probably can get advice either from the entomologist in Kentville, or from the officially pay-for-advice outfit set up when the province closed the provincial station. (I know both groups personally, and can probably get advice unofficially. And that, in fact is precisely what I intended to do.)

I was rather suprised at how successful I was in getting photographs. They were simply taken by sticking the lens of my point-and-shoot camera into the eyepiece of my dissecting microscope, and clicking.
Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
March 29, 2014 06:46PM
David , I have found a few of these guys in my orchard as well . Did you ever manage to get them identified ?

Hillview Heritage Farm
Zone 5*in British Columbia
Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
March 29, 2014 06:58PM
No. I took them to the Research Station. They shrugged their shoulders and said I should hatch out whatever was in the cases, and bring the hatchling back to them, and - maybe - they might be able to identify it then. By this point, all the beasties had already hatched (without my being able to catch them). So I do not know. I have not noticed any so far this spring, but will keep an eye out as I continue my spring pruning (between the ridiculous snow storms - just finished a 50 cm snowfall, with 100 km./hr winds.)

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
April 26, 2014 08:06PM
I have them in my orchard, too. I've seen them both empty, with a small hole like a predator got in, and full, with the same inhabitants you pictured. I don't know what they are.

Any recommendations for books or sites for photos of egg cases?
Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
June 18, 2014 09:14AM
I hope we are looking at the same thing here . My cases are " light and crispy " , They remind me of those deep fried pig skins . I found one a while back when I opened it up it was full of tiny worm type guys . About the size of a fruit fly . Unfortunately I put it down to answer the phone , when I got back my pup was sniffing around and had this ," forgive me father for I have sinned , " look on her face . No more egg sack . The other day I found another and put it in a jar on the windowsill in front of the sink . Today I found another one , it was full of tiny eggs . Tonight doing my dishes I had movement in my jar .If we are looking at the same thing these are praying mantis , and that is a good thing . They are voracious eaters of those we do not like .I have some cool pictures of one little guy on my finger .
I was surprised to find out that we had them in the area and kind of happy to start finding them around the farm .

Try this address here they have better shots then mine . You will find the egg cases about a 1/3 and 1/2 way down the page .


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2014 09:21AM by David Doncaster.
Re: Unidentified egg cases on terminal twigs
June 18, 2014 04:07PM
Fantastic! Unfortunately my eggcases did not look like the ones pictured on Google. The pictures on Google show a flattened, ridged structure; mine was smooth with a rounded capsular shape. I have not looked closely for more of them this year. And it is pouring rain at present, so I shall delay doing so for a day or so. But if I do find any more, I shall do as you did, and report back on results. In the meantime, I am tremendously envious of you, for having such a healthy population of mantises.

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login