oo·​the·​ca ˌō-ə-ˈthē-kə How to pronounce ootheca (audio)
plural oothecae ˌō-ə-ˈthē-(ˌ)kē How to pronounce ootheca (audio)
: a firm-walled and distinctive egg case (as of a cockroach)
oothecal adjective

Examples of ootheca in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The egg case is called the ootheca, and the number of nymphs (baby cockroaches) per ootheca varies depending on the type of cockroach. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, 15 June 2023 Depending on the species of praying mantis, the ootheca could have approximately 100-200 eggs, which could certainly hatch earlier than expected after spending a month or so in someone's warm home. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, 12 Dec. 2019 Behind the female’s bottomless appetite is the extraordinary size of her egg case, or ootheca, a frothy proteinous mass studded with up to 400 eggs that can amount to half her body weight. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ootheca.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

circa 1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ootheca was circa 1856

Dictionary Entries Near ootheca

Cite this Entry

“Ootheca.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ootheca. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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