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2786 Views 1 Reply Last post: Jan 27, 2011 12:27 PM by bombuslucorum - Museum ID team RSS
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Jan 26, 2011 6:14 PM

can anyone identify this cocoon?

I found this cocoon on a chicken run whilst moving it - the casing (approx 3cm long) caught on a branch and came away from the wood, but seems to be made of wood pieces (1mm or less) taken from the wood frame leaving a shallow depression in the wood.  The brown pupa? inside was approx 2.5 cm long, 6-7mm dia, but fell down into the wood stack, so cannot be located.  What is it please?

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    Jan 27, 2011 12:27 PM (in response to ian)
    Re: can anyone identify this cocoon?

    This is the coocon of the Puss Moth, Cerura vinula, or one oth the other 'kittens' (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae).

     

    The caterpillars feed on the leaves of poplars and willows. When they pupate they wander away from the tree to find a good spot and gnaw away some wood to form a depression, incorporating the wood chips into their coccoons. This provides camouflage and makes the cocoon extremely tough. What I have not worked out is how the moth (having lost its gnawing mouthparts) manages to escape from such a tuff cocoon - anyone answer that one?


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