This delicate little tree cricket egg is only 3mm in length -- approximately 1/8 inch long. It is shown lying within the pith of a stem in which it was laid. These tiny little eggs overwinter inside stems of trees, shrubs and woody stems of weeds. In Wisconsin, where this egg was found, the temperature drops below freezing, and at time drops below zero during the winter months. It's amazing that these delicate fluid-filled little eggs survive to hatch in the following summer.
This is presumed to be the egg of a Two-spotted tree cricket -- based on the slightly larger length (4mm) and the reddish cap.
Tree cricket eggs have a mesh-like cap. This is the end from which the head emerges and is the last part of the egg laid by the female. The cap end is closest to the hole in the stem -- into which the female oviposited it and from where it will emerge from the stem once fully developed.
This close-up view of the cap of a Forbes' tree cricket egg shows the intricate mesh-like pattern of the cap.
Another beautiful tree cricket egg cap.
This shows how these eggs are spaced inside a stem. This stem was opened after nymphs failed to emerge after many weeks.
These eggs are shown in the position they were laid -- through one hole in a 'head-to-head' fashion. This is the method used by the Western tree cricket(O. californicus).
The eggs below were laid head to head but also side by side - by a varicornis group female from Nicaragua.
This is the cap of an egg of a Four-spotted tree cricket. Some species have pointed caps....
...and others have round caps.
The photo below shows the 'tail' end - completely smooth and round.
This egg was found inside a goldenrod stem. It was oviposited in late summer or fall of 2010. Note the ectoplasm-like appearance inside the egg.
As the embryo develops, the eye becomes visible.
Parasites of tree cricket eggs:
These tiny wasps have been found inside tree cricket egg cases. For some reason, they did not emerge. In this embryo state, they have a similar shape to a tree cricket egg case -- due to having developed inside a tree cricket egg. The parent wasp parasitizes tree crickets by depositing their own egg inside the tree cricket egg. How these tiny wasps manage to get their own eggs into the tree cricket eggs which are deeply deposited inside stems in unknown. They have been identified as Oethecoctonus oecanthi.