I was pruning my Butterfly Bush and found this thing on one of the branches. I've never seen anything like it. I'm guessing it might be where an insect has laid eggs? Does anyone know what it might be? Should I leave it there or cut the branch off the shrub and destroy it?
Jackpot! These look very much to me like the eggs of a common assassin bug, the Wheelbug (Arilus cristatus). They should be left alone. Their mouthparts are used for sucking the life out of other insects, not plants. Here are eggs, larvae and adults:
Thank you, flatpickit!! I'm glad you were able to identify it for me. I would have been pretty stunned to see the adult assasin bugs. They are a little scary looking! Now I know to watch for them and let them do their thing. I read that they prey on Japanese Beetles :) I can only hope!!