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?
Fascinating! She reminds me of this post I read yesterday from one of my favorite bloggers. Check it out.
In my thesis I researched organically inspired sustainable architecture vs. high-tech sustainable architecture. LEED is leading the way towards the high-tech route, but let’s face it, no matter how we slice it, dice it, our buildings are just not good for the environment. A little evergreen bagworm has a better clue as to how the planet works.
Also, I couldn’t be more pleased that Al Gore and his climate change cohorts won the Nobel Peace Prize!!
Reminds me of how robots have become (evolved?) more like insects than human bipeds. More like Mothra (Godzilla reference) than Robbie the Robot.
Do these little things have it over on us humans? Could be, I love the LEED point of reference.
That’s a great photo! Intricate texture.
There is some Lowcountry mobile home joke in there somewhere but I’ll leave it at that . . .
Your description of their reproductive ritual reminded me of a post from my November 2005 salad days (on blogspot at the time):
Sunday fun with a crab
“These horseshoe crabs aren’t concerned about having fun on a Sunday afternoon.”
Thanks for the diversion! Now I get back to writing an “about us” page on a Saturday night while watching the baseball playoffs. I love October baseball. And the diversion of a good blog.
That is too cool. Nature always has the best creations.
The thing I like about bag worms, or what I find interesting about them is their similarity to caddis fly larvae. Caddis fly larvae live under water in mostly in streams and rivers. They also build their houses around themselves with material found in their environment. When I was doing murrelet surveys and would swim in Elk creek in the afternoon I would put on my mask and swim down and watch the caddis larvae crawl around in their little stone houses. Tiny little pepples all concreted together. When you find them in your dip nets in the Hocking their houses are made with mostly wooden debris. They really are cool. Thanks for kicking up some good ole memories.
Yessum! Kel showed me some of those buggers this May in Oregon at “the river.” They are so cool, and when I found this lil’ bugger, I told the women I was working with at the time about the river stone creatures (caddis fly larvae, but of course, I didn’t know their name). It was also the first thing I thought of.
Thanks for sharing, Ack.