A recent trip to the dry (very dry) open mixed woodland north of Mareeba, Queensland started out as a bit of bust. there was almost no insects activity during the day. But after dark it was different. Many moths and other insects were attracted to the light sheets.
We usually wander around whilst the lights do their work. I stumbled (literally) upon this damaged mantis ootheca and right along side it there appeared to be some mysterious
Braconidae, parasite wasps that produce similar-appearing puparia once they emerge from their host. But they are usually associated with caterpillars.
I took the branch back for closer examination.
Now why are the eggs so close to the mantis ootheca? Did Mrs Assassin Bug have a feed of the eggs and deposit her eggs right there? Both the mantids and the bugs are predaceous and very hungry when they hatch. Was there a method in her madness, or was this just happenstance? Probably the latter as I know of no other instances of Assassin Bugs depositing eggs near a potential food source. Any thoughts on the matter? And if she ate the mantis eggs, there would be no mantis nymphs to emerge from the ootheca.