Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - cocoon

He's fallen on the ground and hanging on when I try to move it
I have a strange tale to tell today - and I'm afraid I don't look like much of an animal lover in it, but I should confess all.

And he's showing me he can move himself thanks!
I saw a cocoon hanging from my verandah roof the other evening. I noted it. That was all. It was blowing a gale that night and next morning, the cocoon was on the ground (middle of the verandah). I just wasn't sure if it had blown off, or if Mr E had assisted it (he hates things like that on his territory), so I went to pick it up. But there was a bug inside who didn't take too kindly to my meddling. I left him.

A few hours later, he'd hiked across the verandah to my thongs (at the front door). So I helped him by placing my thong in the garden, in a shrub, so he could hook onto that and be happy...or so I thought.

What do I find the next day? He's hanging on my roof again!! And boy, he must have cursed me because he would have had to hike all across the verandah again to crawl up the wall, unless he went up a verandah post.

How bad did I feel!?

Can you see him hanging from the roof? And the journey from ground to thongs, to garden and then roof. Oops!

So...what is he?

Up close
A native Saunders' Case Moth, Metura elongatus. According to the ever trusty Google. Some sites are here and here.)

Case moths spin their cases out of silk and most species attach leaves, twigs, sand or soil to the outside for protection and camouflage. 

Case moths spend most of their lives in the caterpillar phase; this part of their life cycle can last 1-2 years. As caterpillars, they never leave their cases. However, they can be very mobile, dragging their large cocoons along as they move around. If they feel threatened they can seal off the end of the cocoon, cutting a new opening once the threat has passed. The females continue to live in their cases after they’ve pupated into adult moths, but the males leave their cases after pupation to fly off in search of females.


  1. Classic! I laughed at the thought of the case moth cursing you for helping him out into the plants... :)

    1. S/He's still there too. Each day s/he moves to somewhere else on the roof. Me E and I are both watching and laughing. It's been fun - fun with a bug!

      Cate xo