Critter ID

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By an edhat reader

I found these weird barnacle-looking things on a line for our hammock. Each little pod is about the size of a sunflower seed and the whole strand is firmly attached to the rope somehow. Some look like they've "opened" up, others are still shut. The hammock was rolled up and in the garage all winter until last weekend, so I'm not sure if these are indoor or outdoor critters.

Any ideas of what these are? Thanks for any help!

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sacjon May 20, 2019 10:18 AM
Critter ID

Thanks so much for the info, looks like the mystery is solved!

sacjon May 20, 2019 03:45 PM
Critter ID

SBNature - thanks for that great info from the SBMNH! Next time I will contact the museum directly, as I didn't think to this time. As a child, I remember finding a strange bug and taking it there for identification. Please pass my thanks on to Dr. Gimmel if you can.

sbnature May 20, 2019 03:35 PM
Critter ID

SB Museum of Natural History Schlinger Chair of Entomology Matthew Gimmel, Ph.D., has more details if you're interested: “These appear to be the eggs of a katydid, a member of the family Tettigoniidae. Adults are in the same general group as and are similar to grasshoppers, but are usually bright green (sometimes brown or even pink!) and leaf-like, have longer legs, and have much longer, hairlike antennae, which are as long as the body or longer. Most are large (over 1 inch) when mature, and most eat various sorts of vegetation (but some are predators). The females have a blade-like ovipositor which they normally use to deposit their eggs exposed on twigs and leaves. In this case, the female chose a hammock line as her substrate. Egg-laying for these critters generally happens during late summer or fall. These eggs were certainly laid while the hammock was outside, and probably laid before it was put away for the winter. It appears that some of the eggs may have hatched, but perhaps the unopened ones did not fully develop as a result of being stored inside. The culprit was probably one of the two common angle-wing katydids (Microcentrum) we have in this area. However, California has a whopping 92 known species of katydids—based on my investigation of a few sources, we can expect at least 17 species in the Santa Barbara area. The appearance of the eggs and the egg-laying behaviors are known for very few of these species.”

Bug Girl May 20, 2019 08:07 AM
Critter ID

I regret not checking edhat yesterday so I could beat everyone else in answering this. Instead I agree with the previous posters in agreeing that it's a Katydid that deposited these eggs. (Often they lay them on stalks of plants about the same size as your hammock line, so the poor dear was probably confused)

bjgreen May 19, 2019 04:01 PM
Critter ID

It seems that the experts concur that Katydid it!

a-1571588669 May 19, 2019 03:52 PM
Critter ID

Only Katydid in CA is the California anglewing (yes: "angle," not "angel"). I looked up the egg casings, and it looks to be a perfect match to the OP's mystery eggs.

entomology_christine May 19, 2019 01:59 PM
Critter ID

These are the eggs of a Katydid :)

a-1571588669 May 19, 2019 01:35 PM
Critter ID

Not a clue. I've seen lots of egg casings in my lifetime, but these look like miniature barnacle shells. I have forwarded your question/photo to the Museum of Natural History. Will post if I get a reply soon.

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