Ask a Question forum: mystery eggs

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Apr 10, 2017 8:03 AM CST
Calling all you gardening eggheads!
Can you tell me what creature laid the eggs in the attached photo?
I found them in a well-sealed plastic bag full of compost bought from a garden centre out here in Spain. I was filling small plant pots ready for seeds.
The eggs are a bit like miniature hens' eggs ... with a rigid shell that cracks when squeezed. Inside is a creamy white goo ... like the insides of a caterpillar given the thumbnail treatment.
I found the eggs scattered throughout the top layers of compost as I grabbed handfuls of the stuff. A few were in batches as though laid at that spot.
The pot, by the way, is 10cms across. So the eggs are about one-eighth of an inch diameter.
The compost is German sourced, but NOT the well known Blumenerden we usually buy. It is labelled "top quality and universal" -- the usual stuff.
But what if those eggs hatch into root eating monsters? And what if I have helped to import a new pest to Southern Europe? Or perhaps they are praying mantis ... and I squashed them as they prepared to defend my brassicas!

Thumb of 2017-04-10/percyplott/a9064f

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Apr 10, 2017 9:07 AM CST
I believe there a fungi.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 10, 2017 9:25 AM CST
Praying mantis lay their eggs in a case-like structure, so that's not what they are. Ant eggs are generally elongated, oval and white.

I have pelletized fertilizer that looks like that, same color too. When it's been wet for a while the fert inside does liquefy and releases slowly through the "shell" membrane. Often the "shells" of the fert pellets remain after all the stuff inside is gone. Could it be that? It would say something on the compost bag if it has fertilizer added.

One way to tell for sure would be to enclose the compost with the "eggs" somewhere warm and wait to see if anything hatches

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

Apr 13, 2017 4:00 AM CST
Thank you dyzzypyxxy! Pelleted fertilizer seems to be the answer. I looked up pelleted fertilizer on Google images and found a very similar thingy. And the compost does indeed boast that it contains fertilizer .... but it does not specify pelleted.
Anyway, thanks again .... I feel a bit "duuuh" right now.

[Last edited by percyplott - Apr 13, 2017 4:01 AM (+)]
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