Nature’s camouflage

IMG_0043Recently, we came across a population of Evergreen Bagworms in the Riverlands. Bagworms are a type of moth whose caterpillar creates a protective silk coccoon and then disguises it with bits of  plant material. They look for all the world like pine cones hanging on the branches of the evergreen shrubs they prefer to feed on. Upon maturity, the male moth is black and furry with clear wings. He goes flying off in search of the females, who are much more the homebody type. In fact, in her entire life the female never leaves her cocoon. She will emit a pheromone scent to attract the males for mating. When her eggs mature she will die without laying them. Her body will eventually mummify around the egg mass inside of her. The next generation then hatches from the eggs, and their mother, to start the cycle anew.

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