What a different a day makes on the weather! Two degrees warmer this morning at our house, 17 instead of 15. But the big factor today is the lack of wind verses yesterday. Indeed, that makes for a very nice day to be outside and a high temperature of 56 degrees!

Alan shared his frostweed from yesterday. He reported 21 degrees (Dallas) for his low yesterday. Suzanne (Fort Worth) reported 18 degrees yesterday. Thank you all for sharing!

First, a ootheca (egg case)! This is the ootheca of a Carolina Mantis(Stagmomantis carolina)!

A second one! However as you can see, another critter looks to have made itself a meal.

Of course, they use trees and shrubs as well for a place to attach. This is a Wild Plum. Here in this one, you can see the exit holes of the nymphs!

Today, I counted more than a dozen on the barbwire!

While looking for the praying mantis oothecae, I happened upon Loggerhead Shrike cache. A Wheelbug (Arilus cristatus)! This may be the first I have seen of this as food for the shrike. Pretty cool eh!

While checking the nest boxes, I found paper wasp nests. However, the exciting part was finding the ootheca on the right in the box.

A closer view!

It was exciting for two reasons. First, I do not believe I had ever seen one inside a box before. Second and equally important, it is a new ootheca for me. It is the Brunner’s Mantis (Brunneria borealis) ootheca! This particular species has the horn-like projection on it! The adult likes grasses, and is especially fond of Little Bluestem. The adult can easily be mistaken for a walkingstick.

Finally, a photo from 11-20-2020 to show you the adult of the Brunner’s Mantis. Besides looking like a skinny walkingstick, its lateral sides of the thorax are serrated. Another meal for a shrike. Yum!

An incredible feather mimic caterpillar from Ecuador Thanks Claire!

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. Mary, thanks for sharing my Frost Weed photo. It does eventually get cold in urban Dallas despite the Heat Island effect.

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