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The Bagworm Moth Caterpillar Builds Itself A Miniature Log Cabin Cocoon

Amy Pilkington 26 Jul 2020

I mostly focus on the cuter, cuddlier side of the animal world, but that doesn't mean there aren't insects worth featuring too.

I mean, they aren't as universally beloved as any random corgi pic shared on Facebook, but not every crawly is necessarily all that creepy.

Some are even kind of cute, in their weird, bug-like ways.

Take for example, the caterpillar stage of the bagworm moth.

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They're pretty boring as caterpillars go, without any cool colors or patterns. In fact, the larvae begin to build their final cocoon casing as soon as they hatch.

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They spin a sticky silk as the base of their casing, attaching detritus from their environment to the exterior.

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Depending on the habitat and the specific bagworm subspecies, their mobile homes could be made of packed dirt and twigs, or become a surprisingly attractive twisty "log" cabin.

Of course, these homes are so tiny, that the "logs" are barely twigs.

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As they build their case, they munch on leaves or lichen until they've had their fill.

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Then they pick a nice spot to settle down and attach their tiny house securely in place so they can metamorphose.

Female moths never leave their houses, waiting for the males to find them and mate before laying their eggs in the case and dying.

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Most bagworm species are considered invasive, but depending on location or habitat, they may simply be a nuisance.

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However, large numbers of certain subspecies in a single place can quickly strip a plant bare of leaves and kill it. If an infestation risk is discovered, professionals may be needed to clear it up before entire gardens or orchards are destroyed.

h/t: Discover Magazine, Amusing Plant

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