Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Evergreen Bagworm? Perhaps the perfect name for the lead caterpillar character of a children’s book, no?
I found this little creature and her home spun and mobile lodging on a walkway yesterday, inching along at a snail-like pace. I am still so amazed by the home she has fashioned herself; this lodging being so incredibly efficient and sustainable it puts LEED to shame.
The cool part is that when she recoils and enters her cocoon again, the opening that you see in the picture closes up automatically, like it is on some sort of remote controlled cantilevered system. I am in awe. Still.
After researching caterpillars to try and get a positive ID on this amazing creature, I am pretty sure she is an Evergreen Bagworm. Anyone? Any entomologists out there?
If she is, I have come to learn that she will be visited by a male sometime soon, if she hasn’t been already. She has attracted him with the phermones she emits, as she never leaves the cocoon and can not eat. Next, she will lay up to several thousand eggs inside of herself, and then die. Then, the eggs will hatch and emerge through their mama’s body over the course of a couple months, forming their own “cases.” Later, Mama’s pupal case can be found, full of the yellow remains of eggshells.
And after this incredible natural act, she is still and only thought to be a pest. What justice?