Q:

What insects lay eggs?

A:

Insects that lay eggs are called orthopterans, which consist of common species such as praying mantis, cockroaches, crickets and grasshoppers. Although these insects all lay eggs, they have different methods of carrying out the egg laying process. All egg-producing insects have distinct methods of carrying, hatching and raising their young.

In addition to variation in egg-laying habits among species, there is also diversity in habits between members of the same species. In the cockroach family, for instance, females in only one family (Blaberidae) have egg cases that lack clear definition and structure. In some cockroach families, females carry egg sacs called oothecae outside their bodies until it is time for the eggs to emerge, while other females deposit their egg cases in nests several days before the eggs emerge.

The eggs produced by the different egg-laying insects vary in size, color and appearance. Eggs of the walking stick species, which includes praying mantis, look like small seeds and are usually dispersed by females loosely on the ground before hatching. Crickets, in contrast, lay their eggs within soils or plant materials and arrange their eggs in rows prior to hatching. Grasshoppers lay their eggs in soil or deposit them in dead wood or grass clumps. Grasshoppers produce large volumes of eggs, which are housed in protective sacs before hatching.

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