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Forensic Identity

Forensic Identity
Size: 11mm x 4mm x 2mm
This is a bit strange I imagine, but I am working at a museum on the curation of an item as acquired from an estate sale. Unfortunately its provenance is no longer in recent memory so I am trying to find where it was originally recovered. I am doing this by trying to identify the ecofacts attributed to the item and am having very little luck. I was directed here by some other researchers on the project in the hopes you could at least ID the family this cocoon originated from. If it is unclear in the image the color is a glossy Brown with a slight red pigmentation when passed over a light source. It also has a serrated ridge on one of its margins that marries the two sides. The interior has a cell-block like structure.


Definitely a Blattidae oothec
Definitely a Blattidae ootheca. Ectobiid ("Blattellid") oothecae are nearly never this sclerotized.

Moved from Cockroaches.

Looks like a brown-banded cockroach egg case
Here's a link to a pic.

As mentioned, it is an oothec
As mentioned, it is an ootheca of a roach...couldn't find the link I knew of that had a comparison of the different shapes of oothecae of various roaches.

--- to email, get rid of the BUGS

Kind of
reminds me of a cockroach egg case.

I'm thinking cockroach too
Size matters, but compare with this one. Mantid egg cases are larger than roaches.

Mantid egg case?
That's what it looks like to me. If it is, then one of our mantid experts might very well be able to ID it more specifically than that.

agree with Tom and Machele. Size, color, and location where recovered make an empty roach egg case more feasible.

Roach egg case.
I agree with the opinion that this is an ootheca of a roach species. Unfortunately, that will give you little help in pinpointing the location you are looking for. Domestic roach species are essentially globally distributed thanks to commerce. Do feel free to submit other items of entomological significance. It is a good exercise for us here:-)

Forensic Identity
Thank you so much everyone for your input, it has helped me out greatly in giving me at least a small promentory to work from. In any case, I have been conducting my own research, as is my job I guess :) and have found that given its relatively squat carpetbag morphology, the number of possible eggs contained within, and its overall size, it has two probable origins, either B. orientalis or P. fuliginosa, both of which luckily are primarily outdoor cockroaches in teh vicinity of human habitation. And both occur either exclusively or at their greatest density in the deep south. I am leaning towards P. fuliginosa just because of other factors with the item such as levels of rust etc... It does help a lot insofar that I know now that neither can be marine species, and the gestation time for the oothecae gives me a time frame that the item was exposed, at least enough to allow the beasties to lay the number of eggs in there and let them hatch.


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