So, how cool is this!?
A caterpillar that carries his own silk spindle-shaped stocking, decorated with leaf clippings he’s gathered, easily overlooked amidst the oak branches. He moves deftly along, leaf by leaf, feeding and resting--ducking quickly inside and closing the opening if disturbed.
Bagworms are the larval stage of a generally unseen moth, hanging in camouflaged houses – covered with everything from sticks and berries to needles and grains of sand.
Lacy black filigree against a pale white face peek out at me, and six grasping legs emerge from the safety of their shelter. The long, soft and tender wrinkled body behind stays within—only stretching to reach what he cannot grasp.
Soon he will fasten his stocking securely to the branch, tie down the opening and pupate. If male, he will emerge as a winged adult moth. The wingless females remain inside their silk enclosure, and after mating, leave eggs behind for spring.
Certainly, this little character, camped out on an oak branch stuffed neatly in a vase on my kitchen table wins this year’s “cool creature award.”
He’s definitely got it in the bag!
Can you see the bristles on his abdominal appendages?
They keep the bag from slipping off.